Belgium Gaming Commission Takes Aim At 'Loot Boxes'

Published Friday, April 27, 2018 -
Belgium Gaming Commission Takes Aim At 'Loot Boxes'

The European Union is constantly working on keeping it together and economically fair for its members. The issue created by the introduction of ecommerce is a touchy one that some jurisdictions in the Union have difficulty accepting. Online gambling as well other certain kinds of gambling are making some operators nervous especially in jurisdictions such as Belgium.

Belgium is a strict jurisdiction with strong rules regarding betting. Belgium’s regulator, the Belgium Gaming Commission has recently declared that so called ‘loot boxes’ in video games are “in violation of gambling legislation”. Acquired by players through actual gaming or by purchase with real cash the loot boxes offer random prizes. The regulator has stated that to remain legal in Belgium the real money aspect in video gaming must be discontinued. Those firms which don’t adhere to the new ruling could face a fine of up to €800,000 ($967,500), according to the news outlet BBC.

The Minister for Justice in Belgium, Koen Geens, said in a prepared statement regarding the reasons behind the decision, “Mixing games and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for mental health.

“We have already taken numerous measures to protect both minors and adults against the influence of, among other things, gambling advertising.

“That is why we must also ensure that children and adults are not confronted with games of chance when they are looking for fun in a video game.”

Peter Naessens, The Belgium Gaming Commission director also spoke on the ruling, “Paying loot boxes are not an innocent part of video games that present themselves as games of skill.

“Players are tempted and misled, and none of the protective measures for gambling is applied.

“Now that it is clear that children and vulnerable people in particular are exposed to them unprotected, game manufacturers but also parties such as FIFA, for example, are called upon to call a halt to this practice.”



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