The Netherlands Gaming Authority has concluded that lootboxes from four major games violate Dutch gambling laws – technically classifying them as illegal gambling. The conclusion was reached after a study that looked into ten games; those that broke the law are those whose drops have a market value.
Dota 2, FIFA 18, Rocket League, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds were not directly named in the study, but were later pointed out by Dutch news site NOS. The remaining six games examined are still unknown, but is likely to include the more recent and popular games to carry lootboxes.
In this case, the four culprits are required to make changes to their lootboxes before 20 June; or risk being banned in the Netherlands.
It’s somewhat unknown what the Dutch expect to happen in this case. For the most part, it looks like the games involved would have to ensure that anything that comes from lootboxes would have to lose their monetary value. Perhaps by removing them from the Steam marketplace. A move that could potentially alienate players who have already paid money for the items.
Still, the Dutch are also pushing for this finding to be extended to the rest of the European Union. Possibly forcing the game developers to rethink their ideas about how to encourage players to buy lootboxes.
Despite only finding four games that have contravened Dutch gambling laws, the authority also warned that the other games examined lack controls for “socially vulnerably groups. The study also notes that all ten games have a “moderate to high” risk for gambling addiction.
[Source: Ars Technica]