Dutch game industry wants more clarity about lootbox prohibition

The Dutch game industry wants to talk to the Gaming Authority about the use of loot boxes in games. According to the industry rules have to be set for the boxes, but the proposed rules are now too unclear.


The Dutch game industry wants to talk to the Gaming Authority about the use of loot boxes in games. According to the industry rules have to be set for the boxes, but the proposed rules are now too unclear.

That says the Dutch Games Association (DGA), a collaboration of Dutch game developers. The interest organization has published a manifesto in which it calls for a dialogue with the Gaming Authority.

The DGA wants the rules for loot boxes to become clearer. Loot boxes are under fire in various countries, including the Netherlands, by gambling authorities.

A lootbox is a digital treasure chest with random rewards, which in some cases can be bought for real money in games.

'Make a distinction between gambling and loot boxes'

The DGA calls on the Gaming Authority to differentiate between gambling and loot boxes. "The main goal of the provider of gambling and of the participants is financial gain where entertainment is added", writes the DGA in the manifest.

"The main goal of a game is different, namely to provide entertainment. One of the possibilities to generate income is to offer loot boxes."

Economic value of loot boxes

Also, not all loot boxes according to the DGA would be the same, and the organization finds that loot boxes are not always 'tradable'. The Gaming Authority sees loot boxes as gambling if the game objects have 'economic value', but according to the DGA that concept is difficult to define.

The gaming industry believes that loot boxes should not be sold to minors, but recognizes that it is difficult in practice to ban minors from 18+ games. That is why the DGA wants to start an awareness campaign. The organization also wants no advertising to be made for loot boxes.

New Dutch law

According to the Gaming Authority, a number of games with loot boxes may not be offered in the Netherlands because they are in violation of the Betting and Gaming Act. In the Netherlands it is not allowed to offer online games of chance.

A new Act on games of chance was previously adopted by the House of Representatives and is now before the Senate. This should relax the rules for online gambling games.

See also: Ban on football game FIFA 18 threatens in the Netherlands, what now?

REF: https://www.nu.nl/games/5737206/nederlandse-game-industrie-wil-meer-duidelijkheid-over-lootboxverbod.html