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New CS:GO Update Makes It Impossible To Open Loot Boxes In The Netherlands And Belgium

by Derek Swinhart on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:49 AM

Recently, both Belgian and Dutch officials declared loot boxes as a form of gambling and subsequently classified them as illegal. Now, live service games are making the changes necessary to comply with the new laws. Today, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive removed the ability to open the in-game crates in both Belgium and the Netherlands. 

The Belgian Gaming Commission has already classified the CS:GO, Overwatch, Star Wars: Battlefront II and FIFA 18 rewards systems as gambling. In the Netherlands, 4 out of the 10 games they researched broke their gambling laws and would have until June 20 to make changes. EA has since removed loot boxes from Battelfront II, but it isn't far-fetched to see Overwatch and FIFA losing their gamble-crates in Belgium in the near future as well given the stiff fines and legal action. For instance, the Dutch Gaming Authority has made it clear that publishers can face fines of €830k or 10 percent of the company's income should they violate said law. Trading from Dota 2 and CS:GO has already been neutered or removed completely in the Netherlands. 

It isn't surprising to see legal recourse taken against loot boxes. They are unpopular among most avid players and many would like to see the system removed or changed. Unfortunately, publishers are still making massive revenue from these items and it will take major legal action to get rid of them in the United States and other countries.