Dutch government loot box study concludes four games contravene law


Recently, the Netherlands Gaming Authority (NGA) launched an investigation into 10 unnamed games and how they utilize loot boxes. The biggest reason for that decision was that the four games allowed for the sale or trade of items via external websites, therefore giving the items a market value. "It is forbidden to offer this type of games of chance without a license to the Dutch players".

The NGA has given the publishers of the four games eight weeks to change their loot box models.

"To date, the supervisory body has not been able to establish that providers of the games implement control measures to exclude vulnerable groups such as minors and to prevent addiction. As a licence can not be issued for this offering under the applicable legislation, these loot boxes are prohibited in the Netherlands", it states. "Those games that feature a combination of in-game goods that can be traded and the obtaining of these goods through loot boxes fall under Article 1 of the Betting and Gaming Act". Now, The Netherlands has determined that some loot boxes do indeed constitute gambling, and it's telling publishers to change their ways.

Research author Lauren Foye explained: "Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes".

Matt Davidson is a freelance writer for IGN who never seems to stop talking about loot boxes. In terms of addiction potential, such loot boxes compare to blackjack or roulette, while loot boxes with a lower addiction risk potential are comparable with small-scale bingo. There is now no evidence of large-scale loot box use among high-risk groups, but "the risk of gambling addiction in this group is many times higher than in adults". The other six games that were part of the overall investigation still featured loot boxes, but were found to be compliant with gambling laws.

"This argument is not valid", it states. Their contents are usually random, which encourages players to spend more money as they pursue certain rewards. It also noted that although Steam has "attempted to address concerns" in the wake of class-action lawsuits in 2016, "significant gambling participation continues to exist".