Dutch politicians call for stricter loot box regulations and potential ban

The Netherlands could further regulate loot boxes in video games after multiple political parties rallied behind a motion that might see the controversial mechanic outlawed.

As noted by VGC and ResetEra, the motion would need to pass through the senate before loot boxes are subject to any new regulations, but the fact it already has the support of six political parties indicates there’s a strong possibility of that happening.

The motion itself (via Google Translate) claims that children are being “manipulated into microtransactions” and that “loot boxes involve a form of gambling.” It also suggests loot boxes are “addictive and can burden families with unexpected bills.”

The Netherlands Gaming Authority had already regulated the mechanic to some extent — requiring titles like Dota 2 to reveal the contents of loot boxes before they’re sold — but has faced some resistance from the Council of State advisory body, which in March this year found that loot boxes in FIFA don’t violate Dutch gambling law.

That decision overturned a ruling that would have seen EA fined up to €10 million over its use of loot boxes in FIFA Ultimate Team.

Other countries including Belgium have already banned loot boxes, and it seems those backing the motion hope the Dutch government will follow suit.

“[We are] noting that these loot boxes are prohibited in Belgium; [and] call on the government to look for a possibility to ban these loot boxes in video games in the Netherlands as well and to amend the law for this where necessary,” continues the motion.

Earlier this month, the Spanish government announced its own plans to regulate loot boxes in a bid to curb “thoughtless, compulsive, or even pathological” consumer behavior.

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