Belgium Finished Investigation on Loot Boxes, Deems Them Gambling

Belgium Finished Investigation on Loot Boxes, Deems Them Gambling

Following the backlash against EA for its implementation of microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II, the Belgium gaming commission has ruled on the question of whether or not in-game loot boxes constitute gambling. It's actually similar to the situation in China, where legislation ensures that those who buy loot boxes know the exact odds of what they'll be getting out. The answer is yes. This information comes to us from the Belgian site VTM News, but PC Gamer has translated the article for English speaking audiences to read. Though the Google Translation is a bit rough, the commission notes that "the mixing of money and addiction is gambling", and loot boxes fall right into that category.

The Belgium based website, VTM Nieuws, is reporting that Belgium's Minister of Justice wants to nix loot boxes from the market because it's pretty much gambling.

Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens agrees, saying that "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is risky for the mental health of the child". Moreover, Geens is keen on taking the matter beyond Belgium's borders, an effort that will see such digital implementations banned across Europe.

At the same time, the Minister of Justice reported that all types of products involving loot boxes and not informing consumers that they are gambling will be banned in Belgium and will seek to extend the measure throughout Europe, although he acknowledged that it will take time. "We will certainly try to ban it". This decision comes a few days after EA responded to the Belgian government's investigation, claiming that its model of loot boxes can not be considered as gambling.

In case you are unfamiliar, loot crates, or loot boxes, are items that can be bought in-game which contain a randomised selection of items which can include clothing for your avatar, or weapons or other unlockable content.

What do you think about the decision of the Belgian government?



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