Belgian Gambling Commission rules that loot boxes are gambling - VTM

James Marshall
November 22, 2017

The Belgian Gamng Commission has come to a conclusion after investigating the claims of premium loot box purchases in AAA games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II or Need For Speed: Payback: premium loot boxes are indeed gambling. Of particular concern are the controversial loot boxes, which allow players to pay real money to buy in-game items to artificially advance their power levels. The answer is yes. Roughly speaking, it would seem that the commission equated the mixing of addiction and money as gambling, which can have a lot of interpretations. Now, gamers have gained an ally in Belgium since the country's officials have classified loot boxes as gambling. Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens also weighed in, saying, "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. "We will certainly try to ban it".

The move by Belgium's Gaming Commission could have far-reaching consequences since many properties, not just Star Wars: Battlefront II (who placed microtransactions in the country's cross-hairs), implement loot boxes in one form or another.

With Belgium hoping to make loot boxes illegal in Europe, this would be another hit to EA and other companies using the same mechanic, but it will take some time. Simply check back for updates.

A Hawaiian congressman plans to take steps to combat the "predatory behavior" of video game publishers, with a particular focus on the so-called loot boxes initially included in Electronic Arts' Star Wars Battlefront II. If you don't know exactly what it is you're purchasing with your hard-earned money, then it's gambling, and it either needs to have a special permit or be banned. 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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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