CS:GO Loot Boxes Blocked in Netherlands and Belgium

Loot box regulation is beginning to come true, and it’s starting with the regional banning of the controversial in-game transaction mechanic. Valve recently launched an update for CS:GO and certain players discovered that they were unable to open loot boxes in the game, specifically those in the Netherlands and Belgium. This is happening due to the actions that were taken by Dutch and Belgian authorities in regulating loot boxes, which have been deemed illegal in both countries. Now they’re in a CS:GO loot boxes blocked situation.

The CS: GO patch notes released by Valve states that “Customers in Netherlands and Belgium will be restricted from opening containers.” These “containers” refer to the loot boxes in the game. Interestingly, it also states that “Steam Trading and Steam Market features are now re-enabled for Steam accounts in Netherlands.” That means Dutch CS:GO players are now able to buy and sell items again. Valve disabled trading for them after the Dutch Gaming Authority ruled that loot boxes violated their gambling laws, earlier in April.

The Belgium Gaming Commission came to the same conclusion in the same month, as they announced that three games were to be declared illegal due to loot box content. These games were Overwatch, FIFA 18, and yes, CS: GO. They considered the game to be subject to gambling legislation when it contains a game element similar to a bet, which can lead to either profit or loss based on pure chance.

However, there are still those with differing opinions. France was the most recent nation to make a ruling on loot boxes, with the French regulatory body ultimately concluding that loot boxes are not an illegal form of gambling. This opinion is shared by some in the games industry as well. EA Sports Vice President Daryl Holt and Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Mike Gallagher both voiced the same opinion recently.