Forums - Gaming Discussion - Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe

The Minster of Justice says the mix of gaming and gambling is "dangerous."

Last week, Belgium's Gaming Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into whether the loot boxes available for purchase in games like Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront 2 constitute a form of gambling. Today, VTM News reported that the ruling is in, and the answer is yes. 

The Google translation is a little sloppy, as usual, but the message is clear enough. "The mixing of money and addiction is gambling," the Gaming Commission declared. Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens also weighed in, saying, "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child." 

Geens, according to the report, wants to ban in-game purchases outright (<--- OP edit: he's only talking about loot boxes, not just any in-game purchase such as paying €2 for a specific skin), and not just in Belgium: He said the process will take time, "because we have to go to Europe. We will certainly try to ban it."

Source: http://www.pcgamer.com/belgium-says-loot-boxes-are-gambling-wants-them-banned-in-europe/

Last edited by poklane - on 21 November 2017

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Excellent news. I very much doubt they'll be banned outright. But if this leads to increased regulation and less mystery around them then that's definitely an improvement!



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

I wonder where they were with mobile games? I'm totally against lootboxes and I'm glad people are talking about cracking down on it but I find it really odd people are talking about it now.



 

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Excellent! I'm somewhat worried about how strict it sounds though, especially considering the odd definition of gambling. I mean, I think I don't mind the results, but something seems off here.



If you could buy what you wanted in said lootboxes then it wouldn't be (wouldn't mean I'd approve), but its a lottery what you get - lotteries are gambling, so I agree with Belgium.

This is starting to get interesting.



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Yes please. Stop destroying our favourite hobby.



GribbleGrunger said:
I wonder where they were with mobile games? I'm totally against lootboxes and I'm glad people are talking about cracking down on it but I find it really odd people are talking about it now.

Because it's passable when the initial game is free - people get that the developer has to get their money from somewhere. But most people take issue when its tacked onto full-priced console games, as its a sneaky way to boost margins.



Full translation from the video interview:
"If people start to mix gaming and gambling at that age, that's extremely dangerous for the mental health of a child. So we have to ban that, but it will take time because I'll have to go to Europe with that to do that with the gambling legislation."



Fuuuuuuck yeah.



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SecondWar said:
GribbleGrunger said:
I wonder where they were with mobile games? I'm totally against lootboxes and I'm glad people are talking about cracking down on it but I find it really odd people are talking about it now.

Because it's passable when the initial game is free - people get that the developer has to get their money from somewhere. But most people take issue when its tacked onto full-priced console games, as its a sneaky way to boost margins.

Naa, you're thinking about your own motives for disliking it. I'm talking about their motives for disliking it because they apply to phone games too:

 "The mixing of money and addiction is gambling," the Gaming Commission declared. Belgium's Minister of Justice Koen Geens also weighed in, saying, "Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.

And there have been numerous stories over the years of children costing parents hundreds of dollars/pounds because of mobile game transactions. So why now? 



 

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