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Belgian Gaming Commission Is Investigating Battlefront II And Overwatch

by Imran Khan on Nov 15, 2017 at 02:53 PM

Belgium's gaming commission, a government entity that oversees and licenses games of chance, has announced that they are looking at video games like Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront II for possible categorization as gambling, Belgian TV reports.

In 1999, Belgium banned games of chance except for those explicitly licensed by the country's gaming commission, explicitly banning all gambling in the country that had not been licensed already. The commission is currently investigating whether lootboxes in Overwatch and Battlefront II violate these laws for its luck-based results.

"Therein lies the problem. It depends on luck and at that point you're gambling," gambling commission director Peter Naessens told VTM news. "If we are dealing with a game of chance, they need to have a permit."

In the worst case scenario for EA and Blizzard, this could lead to fines of hundreds and thousands of euros. It could also require the games be pulled from shelves as they're no longer correctly classified, according to Belgium's gambling laws.

(Thank you to ResetEra user Bram Ryckaert for providing a translation.)

[Source: VTM News]


Our Take
It was only a matter of time before this happened, despite the ESA insisting they do not believe lootboxes to be gambling. At the end of the day, you're fundamentally exchanging money for a chance to win. Even if it does not meet the letter of the law, the line is being blurred significantly.