Belgian Gaming Commission claims loot boxes are a form of gambling

Belgian Gaming Commission claims loot boxes are a form of gambling

Belgium's Gaming Commission has declared that loot boxes are a form of gambling and sparked calls to ban that particular form of monetisation in the country.

As reported by PC Gamer, the Gaming Commission had launched an investigation into loot boxes earlier in November 2017. It was sparked by controversy surrounding the use of loots boxes in console games such as Star Wars Battlefront II and Overwatch.

The Commission found that loot boxes are a form of gambling, explaining that "the mixing of money and addiction is gambling". Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens repeated this sentiment, saying "mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child."

Carpet ban

Geens apparently wants to step up the process and ban any IAP that doesn't reveal exactly what it is you're purchasing. He is also reportedly seeking to have loot boxes banned across all of Europe.

However, the matter may not go this far. Digital entertainment lawyer Jas Purewal has taken to Twitter to point out that Belgium does not hold much weight on European regulation.

Based on his knowledge, Purewal said that EA would likely need to pay a license fee and make some small changes to the monetisation systen if any regulation was put in place. "What's just as likely is that EA would turn off anything that the Belgian regulators are remotely unhappy about. Or, in worst case, just turn off Belgium completely," he added.

The UK government has also weighed in on the debate, saying that because loot boxes don't contain real-world cash, they cannot be considered gambling.

Deputy Editor

Ric has written for for as long as he can remember, and is now Deputy Editor. He likes trains.


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