Loot boxes have been in video games for years and nobody had a word to say about their allegedly harmful effect on players until recently. Near the end of 2017, the Belgian minister of justice, Koen Geens, stated that loot boxes amount to a game of chance. It took at least 6 months for the Belgian Gaming Commission to investigate the problem, and by “problem” we mean such video games as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Star Wars Battlefront II (by the way, we have already mentioned the issue with Battlefront II before in our news article). The latter stirred the Belgium pot - since its launch in 2017, miffed gamers around the world started complaining about the expensive loot boxes, and the overall situation, when you have to pay to win.
Whereas the fans of Electronic Arts’ creations were disappointed by the price of loot boxes, Koen Geens voiced a concern about their influence on a child’s brain, saying “It is often children who come into contact with such systems and we cannot allow that.” The situation escalated to an unpredictable level - Geens stated that, nowadays, these games violate the Belgium’s gaming legislation. Therefore, the developers will face fines of up to €1,000,000, and be put behind bars for up to five years, if they don’t remove loot boxes. Valve and EA seem to be ready for negotiations and will willingly answer all questions that the Belgian Gambling Commission may have.
If Belgium is still indulgently treating all that’s happening, the Netherlands are not so merciful - Holland has declared the aforementioned games as “games of chance” and gave the developers time, until June 20th, to change or remove the loot boxes. So, there’s that.
Come to think of it, loot boxes indeed resemble gambling in a way. Adults, as well as minors, (who spend lots of time playing video games) may become obsessed with an opportunity to win a valuable thing. While adults usually can control their impulses, it’s highly unlikely that the affected young mind will be able to overcome the obsession. Hell, even grown-ups sometimes need to be protected. That’s why they have all those Play Responsibly and BeGambleAware programs, which properly regulated casinos must employ.
Speaking of properly regulated casinos - have a look at our list of best casinos while you taking a break from CS:GO. Some of them may even turn out to be more exciting than hoping that new weapon skin you’ve been wanting randomly pops out of a loot crate.