Belgium is right to class video game loot boxes as child gambling

Topic Selected: Gambling

General Article icon Type: General Article

Belgium’s Gaming Commission has decided that ‘loot box’ mechanics in three popular video games encourage children to gamble. The games industry doesn’t need them.

By Keza MacDonald

In April, the Belgian minister of justice, Koen Geens, announced the result of an investigation that the country’s Gaming Commission conducted into video game ‘loot boxes’, a mechanic that lets players pay real money for a chance at winning virtual items. It found that three popular games – Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fifa 18 – were in violation of gambling legislation. This is a significant finding, because controversy over loot boxes has been raging for at least six months: are they actually a form of gambling? Worse, are they a form of gambling that is particularly appealing to children?

Belgium’s Gaming Commission has decided that, yes, they are, and the publishers in question sho

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