Some games with loot boxes are now "unlawful" in the Netherlands

Four out of Ten Loot Boxes Violate Dutch Gambling Law, Local Regulator Finds

The four problematic games will now have two months to change their loot boxes in order to comply with Dutch gambling laws, or risk being fined or prohibited from being sold in the Netherlands.

"The reason is that the content of these loot boxes is determined by chance and that the prizes to be won can be traded outside of the game: the prizes have a market value". Trading items provided the player with earning money should a rare item drop from the loot box. "As a licence can not be issued for this offering under the applicable legislation, these loot boxes are prohibited in the Netherlands", it states. The other six did fall within gambling laws, but were still criticized in how they were implemented.

A study conducted by the The Gaming Authority found loot boxes cause young players, who are particularly vulnerable, could start gambling sooner which comes with a high rick of addiction.

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Regulation Needed for Youth Participation A 2017 study by the Gambling Commission found that 11% of 11-16 year olds in the United Kingdom had placed bets with skins; meaning around 500,000 children under the age of 15 could be using skins for gambling. But it also makes some very interesting comments on the addictiveness of loot boxes, which it said carry a "moderate to high addiction risk potential". "There are all sorts of sound effects and visual effects when you open such a loot box, so you have a tendency to play through and through". Loot boxes on the lower end of the addiction risk potential scale, on the other hand, are more akin to "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". Games now wear the lack of loot boxes as a badge of pride.

Starting June 20th, 2018, the Netherlands Gaming Authority will begin to enact enforcements against software publishers utilizing predatory loot boxes that do not adhere to their gambling regulatory laws. "Because the prizes can be traded, they get an economic value", the DGA explain. In an odd note, while the games under study were not revealed, NOS does bring up DOTA 2, Rocket League, PUBG and Federation Internationale de Football Association 18 as prime examples of loot boxes breaking the law. Whilst Steam attempted to address concerns, following class-action lawsuits in 2016, Juniper found that significant gambling participation continues to exist.

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