Landmark Belgium gaming authority ruling defines loot boxes as gambling

Landmark Belgium gaming authority ruling defines loot boxes as gambling

The Belgian Gaming Commission has declared that loot in video games are gambling and therefore are illegal.

This follows an investigation into the monetisation mechanic in the wake of Star Wars Battlefront II's troubled launch. From this, the body has declared that loot boxes are gambling given that there is: "a game element, a bet can lead to profit or loss and chance has a role in the game".

Games of chance

The organisation looked at the aforementioned title from a galaxy far, far away, as well as FIFA 18, Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

All the above aside from Battlefront II were found to have loot boxes that constitute a game of chance, and therefore are gambling. Battlefront II only escaped because EA and developer DICE made changes to the game post-launch.

The Belgian Gaming Authority has said that games with paid loot boxes are in violation of the country's law and therefore can be dealt with as a criminal matter.

Said loot boxes are to be removed or the publishers will face a €800,000 fine or a prison sentence of five years.

Where children are involved, these punishments will be doubled.

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Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.


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