Belgium Criminalizes Certain Lootboxes, Sends Threat To Developers

The first answer to any question of “is this legal” is “where?” Belgium has joined the growing list of countries to declare that lootboxes, in some fashion, constitute an illegal form of gambling. The Belgium Gaming Commission determined this week that FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive violate its gambling laws and has demanded that developers remove them with the threat of large fines and remarkably even prison sentences if their demands are not met.

Belgium’s Gaming Commission in its notice specifically directed at the following types of monetization. Please note that the below has been translated into English.

  • Emotional profit forecast: uncertainty loot box is linked to profit forecast;
  • A player may think that the purchase of a loot box gives an advantage, which is not always the case
  • Confusion of fiction and reality: well-known real people promote the most expensive loot boxes;
  • Use your own coin system: for a real amount, players can buy in-game coins;
  • Apparently infinite methods to deposit money on player accounts;
  • Hide from the random generator or at least its opacity.

It does not appear that any explicit timetable has been set for removal of said loot boxes.

(Source: Belgium Gaming Commission)

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