HomeTechnologySix Dutch political parties unite behind proposed loot box ban

Six Dutch political parties unite behind proposed loot box ban

The Netherlands could be the next country to ban loot boxes in video games, as several political parties unite behind the bill that would see the country ban random in-game purchases.

The motion, first posted on ResetEra by user Poklane, is yet to pass through the nation’s Senate, however, due to such bipartisan support for the bill, it seems extremely unlikely that it will fail, meaning the Netherlands would join Belgium in its ban. loot boxes.

The motion claims that “in video games, children are manipulated into performing microtransactions and that loot boxes are also a form of play.”

He goes on to say that as a result of these payments, “they can become dependent and burden families with unexpected bills for these transactions.”

Calls from across Europe to ban loot boxes are growing louder and pressure is mounting on game companies to remove them from their most popular titles, such as FIFA and NBA 2K.

Last month, 20 consumer groups from 18 European countries launched a coordinated action asking authorities to adopt regulations on loot boxes.

Consumer groups are calling for a number of measures, including “a ban on misleading design, additional protections for minors, and transaction transparency.”

In July 2020, following repeated calls for government action, the House of Lords recommended that the UK government “act immediately to bring loot boxes within the ambit of gambling laws and regulations. by chance”.

In April 2018, the Belgian Gambling Commission found that loot boxes, such as those sold for real money in FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode, constituted gambling.

Six Dutch political parties unite behind proposed loot box ban
EA generated $1.62 billion in loot box revenue from its Ultimate Team modes in fiscal year 2021

The Commission then went so far as to recommend criminal proceedings against companies that continued to sell them in their games.

As a result, the games have their loot boxes removed in Belgium or are not sold there at all. EA, for example, announced in 2019 that it would no longer sell FIFA Points in Belgium.

It was recently confirmed that Diablo Immortal will not be released in the Netherlands or Belgium due to its use of loot boxes.

The case in the Netherlands is a little less clear cut, as in March this year a major court case found that loot boxes did not always violate the country’s gambling laws.

The court in The Hague ruled in October 2020 that the Dutch Gaming Authority would be allowed to fine EA €500,000 every week it continued to sell loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team, after the feature was was found to violate the rules of the game.

However, in March 2022, the Dutch section of the administrative jurisdiction of the Council of State ruled that the previous finding was an “unjustified sanction” and that EA no longer had to pay the fine.

The new discovery is not a definitive conclusion as to whether loot boxes are games of chance. Rather, it is simply a ruling that under Dutch gambling laws a “gambling license” (i.e. gambling license) is only necessary if the The “game of chance” aspect is a stand-alone product like a slot machine, rather than a single element of a larger game of skill.

This new motion would overturn that decision and permanently quantify loot boxes as games of chance, and permanently ban them from games like FIFA.