The subject of loot boxes has gained significant momentum in the news these days since both Belgium and the Netherlands have officially declared the ability to purchase and trade with them to be gambling. As such, publishers that intend to host loot boxes in these countries need to submit to the laws and regulations of gambling practices , or remove the option to purchase them entirely.
Regardless of whether or not major publishers agree with these outcomes, the actions by these countries placed a big question mark over the subject of an unregulated player base having the ability to wager real money on a game of chance for virtual items.
Well, it seems the day of reckoning for loot boxes may now be at hand. A new international agreement has been signed by 15 gambling commissioners as part of a collaborative effort to deliberate the implications of gambling for items in gaming.
According to Eurogamer, this international effort is primarily interested in targeting 3rd party websites that sell in-game items to players who enter into a lucky draw. The CS:GO betting lounge store serves as a particularly notable example here.
However, loot boxes are by no means safe since the overall investigations of this united inquiry intends to address how loot boxes fit into the subject of gambling in video games. If loot boxes are unanimously deemed to be gambling by these commissioners, they will undoubtedly have to be removed from the countries they represent, which would mean that these publishers would have to radically rethink income strategies from online purchases.
Commissioners included are:
- Signe Birne, Director of Lotteries and GamblingSupervisory Inspection of Latvia
- Karel Blaha, Director of the State Oversight OverGambling Department, Czech Republic
- Steve Brennan, Chief Executive, Gambling SupervisionCommission, Isle of Man
- Charles Coppolani, Chair of the French Online GamingRegulatory Authority
- Juan Espinosa García, CEO, Directorate General for Gambling Regulation, Spain
- Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer, MaltaGaming Authority
- Jason Lane, Chief Executive, Jersey Gambling Commission
- Andrew Lyman, Executive Director, Gambling Division, HM Government of Gibraltar
- Brendan Mac Namara, Principal Officer, Gambling Policy Division, Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland
- Henrik Nordal, Director Deputy General, Norwegian Gaming Authority
- Jan Suyver, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Netherlands Gambling Authority
- Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Officer, UK Gambling Commission (Featured in picture above)
- Pawet Gruza, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Poland
- Alfred Hacker, Director, Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria
- David Trujillo, Director, Washington State Gambling Commission
Check out the official document from the UK gambling commission here!