Several countries do not approve of the presence of loot boxes in video games, as they regard it as a form of gambling. Therefore, these countries decided to ban them, as they think they encourage this wrong behavior among minors. The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, discovered four Steam titles that violated the regulations of the country, so it forced the platform to change the games to agree with the regulations.
Four Steam games violate the Dutch law on loot boxes
At the beginning of 2018, Kansspelautoriteit decided to perform a brief study. They selected the ten most popular games on Steam that contained loot boxes and checked if they agreed to the current gaming regulations. These rules are gathered in the Dutch Betting and Gambling Act.
From all these ten games, four of them violated these regulations, so Steam had to deal with their loot boxes. Among the four titles, there was Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Therefore, the Dutch Gaming Authority gave them a deadline to perform the changes in question.
Valve disabled trading on Steam for the respective titles
Initially, this deadline was set for June 20th, 2018. Now, the authority should check the loot boxes in the games. If they don’t agree with the regulations, they might have to pay huge fines up to $962,000. This is quite a big sum of money, as it represents 10 percent of the revenue of the company.
However, this whole scandal revealed something really interesting that Valve should keep in mind. The company studied the Dutch laws on gaming and discovered a single instance when loot boxes are illegal. If they can be transferred from one user to the other, they might be potential items for gambling.
As a result, Valve disabled the trading and marketplace on Steam for these titles. This isn’t the solution the company desired, but losing the Dutch market would be a serious blow. Therefore, it will continue collaborating with the authorities to offer users the best legal alternatives.
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