Dutch Politicians Are Backing The Ban Of Loot Boxes In Games

Many Netherland political parties have backed a new proposed law to block the sale of loot boxes in the country. 

A total of six parties say they will be supporting the motion, which would bring Dutch law in line with Belgium which outlawed loot boxes back in 2018.

The motion states that loot boxes are “a form of gambling” and also says “children in video games are manipulated to purchase” such items through in-game purchases. 

The motion has not been signed into law just yet but the six parties make up more than half of the country’s senate and House of Representatives, which suggests the motion is likely to pass. 

This isn’t the first time Dutch politicians have tried to regulate/outlaw loot boxes, you may remember their lengthy debate with EA over their Ultimate Team packs in FIFA. 

It was back in October 2020 that the Court of the Hague ruled that the FIFA packs had broken Dutch gambling law and issued EA with an eye-watering €500k fine for every week it didn’t comply with their demands to remove packs from the current FIFA. EA didn’t pay the fine letting it reach the upper limit of €10m and appealed the request. 

Two years down the line, EA managed to get the fine overturned by the country’s highest court the Dutch Administrative Jurisdiction Division. 

FIFA found a loophole that would let them off; the acquisition of FIFA packs was “not an isolated game” and the packs themselves were in fact part of a “wider game of skill”. However, this new Dutch legislation will close this loophole. 

There have also been reports that Spain has been putting loot boxes under pressure. Last month, the report stated the country was coming up with a way to combat “thoughtless, compulsive or even pathological” consumer behaviour all while allowing players to still enjoy the game. More details of their efforts are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

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