The Netherlands has declared some loot boxes as gambling

Some Loot Box Mechanics Are Gambling According to The Netherlands

Kansspelautoriteit said in its study that some of the items in the loot boxes could be traded outside of a game.

Interestingly, the Gaming Authority report also appears to highlight the inadequacies of existing law in dealing with issues like loot boxes.

Indeed, the cosmetics and other items found in loot boxes for DotA 2, PUBG, and Rocket League can be sold or traded through the Steam marketplace, and that's a big no-no in the eyes of the Dutch gaming authority.

The Dutch Gaming Authority has put its foot down on loot boxes. Companies like Apple now require apps to publish drop rates for any loot box mechanics-visible in this week's controversial "fortune cookie" update for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, for example. If it doesn't, then it's not technically gambling, but if it does, it can fall foul of the Netherlands' laws.

Although a small territory in the gaming landscape, the Netherlands joins a growing list of countries and authorities which want to see the practice restricted from its current guise.

The press statement makes it very clear and to the point what was concluded from the regulatory body's study, where they explain why predatory loot boxes are gambling, saying... As such, it's demanding that games that use loot boxes remove "addiction-sensitive" elements, such as flashy effects to increase excitement upon opening a loot box, or the ability to open several loot boxes in quick succession.

"Six of the ten games with loot boxes that were studied do not contravene the law, as there is no question of in-game goods with a market value in these games".

Although the report did not mention the specific games under investigation, Dutch news agency NOS has fingered them as Dota 2, Federation Internationale de Football Association 18, PUBG and Rocket League. "As a licence can not be issued for this offering under the applicable legislation, these loot boxes are prohibited in the Netherlands", it states.

Matt Davidson is a freelance writer for IGN who never seems to stop talking about loot boxes. Either way, the debate on loot boxes is getting even more interesting. In terms of addiction potential, such loot boxes compare to blackjack or roulette, while loot boxes with a lower addiction risk potential are comparable with small-scale bingo. Their contents are usually random, which encourages players to spend more money as they pursue certain rewards.

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