The Netherlands joins Belgium in investigating lockboxes as games of chance

Earlier this week, we reported on a move by the Belgian Gaming Commission to investigate lockboxes/lootboxes in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 to determine whether they constitute games of chance to the degree that they require regulation meant for gambling. Now it appears the Dutch have joined them.

According to NU.nl, the Dutch Gaming Authority is also investigating whether this particular game mechanic falls under the banner of online gambling, which according to the news outlet is currently banned in the Netherlands, while games of chance on the whole are subject to special licensing rules. According to the regulatory group, it is “still in a research phase.”

EA has insisted that Star Wars Battlefront 2’s lootcrates “are not gambling” for all the usual reasons online gaming studios trot out to confuse people about what games of chance are: that players win something, even if it’s lint, and that players can earn crates via play. Last night, the company announced it was disabling all microtransactions while it sorted out the continuing uproar.

Source: NU.nl via Eurogamer. Cheers, Veldan!
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60 Comments on "The Netherlands joins Belgium in investigating lockboxes as games of chance"

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Anthony Clark

It’s gambling plain and simple.

You’re buying a CHANCE to get what you really want.

It’s just a new form of digital gambling. It’s not complicated, people.

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Sally Bowls

While you can dislike a gaming company for a myriad of reasons, laws need a basis. So is a country going to regulate them because they are gambling or because they exploit consumers? The former seems to have some technical requirements.

The latter is one where Bree and I disagree. After the NY terrorist event a couple of weeks ago, I was watching ABC evening news and saw a repackaging of this.
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/marine-discovered-teen-son-talking-isis-recruiters-part-50923791

Texas ex-marine turns his son in after he had been radicalized by a terrorist group and before he was going to murder again. Around 6:12 in this they show clips from a video game while the reporter’s voiceover is “his fantasies of heroism from the violent video games have become reality.” There is a lot of evidence that violent video games are not that harmful. But I do think a poll would reflect that a lot (majority?) of voters think that way. I could easily be wrong but I think if a “there’s trouble right here in River City” politician were to go after video games, that lockboxes would not be the only thing attacked and probably not the first.

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Brother Maynard

So is a country going to regulate them because they are gambling or because they exploit consumers?

They can do both.

However, in this case the investigation is done specifically by institutions overseeing the gambling industry, so any action they may decide to take will in this case most likely only apply to gambling practices.

Of course that doesn’t mean that consumer protection authorities may not join in if EA (and others) are suspected of breaching the consumer protection law.

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Necromonger

No matter if its real gambling, pay to advance or any other sort of boxes it has no place in our games.

I hope more nations just use a banhammer for these games so the industry feels they have turned into a dead end and stop this nonesence.

They need to go back and make games like we have always bought games and not put effort done to unlock into spend money to unlock.

Its a cancer in any form or shape.

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drgreenhoe

What did they expect. The man wants his piece of the action. Regulate, tax inspections and fees.

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Dro Gul

And hopefully the whole lootcrate industry comes tumbling down

Skoryy
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Skoryy

Jack Thompson’s currently hitting up Travelocity for the lowest fares to Brussels and The Hague.

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rafael12104

As I said before, IF anything really does happen in terms of government oversight it will not be here. EU, yes, a possibility.

Remember their battles with Microsoft over Internet Explorer? If they grab hold, they will not let go even if out maneuvered legally.

So, we can’t count on Britain, they can’t seem to find an exit, but Germany and France? They might be willing to do it IF Belgium and Neths investigations are fruitful.

And in my view, as a trading block, the rest will follow easily.

LOL! Could it be?

Domino

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

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rafael12104

LOL! Did you do the translation yourself? Talented.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

google fu:) I’d bet thats not how it’s said though..

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rafael12104

Well done my friend. Well done. LOL

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A Dad Supreme

“Whoaaaaaa… I think he’s right. These …*puff*… weren’t the ones we’re …*puff*…looking for. No child gambling boxes here.”

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A Dad Supreme

People. It’s the Dutch Gaming Authority.

I know these are exciting times but… let’s get a grip lol.

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Jack Pipsam

Don’t diss the Dutch.

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Armsbend

Who is part of the EU.

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Utakata

It would be if PEI (Prince Edward Island) where to legalize crystal meth…and despite it being a tiny tiny island, I am pretty sure the rest of Canada (my jurisdiction) will have something to say about that, for example. So Mr. Supreme should not be discounting the size of the country in having sway over the rest of the Union (if that what he’s doing).

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Utakata

…or maybe that wasn’t the best example. :(

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Gadgets-4G

We live in a society filled with people chomping at the bit to scream about something. Anything. This could well be the next thing. And I for one think that these companies should sell skins without the random. Let’s see how it plays out.

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teppic

I knew this would start happening soon, and since game studios will keep using these shitty lootboxes to rake in the cash until there’s regulation, it can’t come soon enough.