Belgium Gaming Commission says loot boxes ARE gambling and wants them banned in Europe

Ben Parfitt
Belgium Gaming Commission says loot boxes ARE gambling and wants them banned in Europe

Governments from both sides of the Atlantic have said they intend to take down video games loot boxes.

PC Gamer reports that after declaring it was investigating loot boxes last week, the Belgium Gaming Commission has decided that they ARE a form of gambling.

Furthermore, as a form of gambling targeted at minors, they are viewed as a danger – and should be banned. And not just in Belgium, either. The Commission wants a Europe-wide ban.

Obviously with Brexit muddying the equation it’s impossible to say whether any potential ban would also apply in the UK.

There’s pressure coming from the US, too, where Hawaiian House of Representative Democrat Chris Lee has said he intends to take steps to halt the “predatory behaviour” of video game publishers who use loot boxes, and is also seeking a ban.

“While we are stepping up to act in Hawaii, we have also been in discussions with our counterparts in a number of other states who are also considering how to address this issue,” Lee said, as reported by Kotaku.

“I believe this fight can be won because all the key bases of political support across the country are on the same side… And frankly, we don’t need to change the laws in every state - we just need to change a few and it will be enough to draw the line and compel change.

“These kinds of loot boxes and microtransactions are explicitly designed to prey upon and exploit human psychology in the same way casino games are so designed. This is especially true for young adults who child psychologists and other experts explain are particularly vulnerable. These exploitive mechanisms and the deceptive marketing promoting them have no place in games being marketed to minors, and perhaps no place in games at all.”

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