Lootboxes Have Been Scrutinized in Both Countries
A recent update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive stops players in the Netherlands & Belgium from being able to open the game’s lootboxes (which are called “containers” in-game). Earlier this year, lootboxes were declared illegal in Belgium in April and were under official investigation in the Netherlands.
“Customers in Netherlands and Belgium will be restricted from opening containers,” read one of the bullet points for the update’s release notes. However, the Steam Market and Steam Trading features have been re-enabled for players in the Netherlands.
Valve had previously barred CS:GO players in the Netherlands from using these features due to the Netherlands threatening legal action against them unless something was done about CS:GO’s lootboxes.
In April, Netherlands’ gaming authority, the Kansspelautoriteit, concluded that four unnamed games had to change their lootbox mechanics or face reprimand. The organization declared that lootboxes “contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable.” “Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are not transferable,” they also said.
Not allowing players in the Netherlands & Belgium to open the lootboxes in CS:GO seems like one way for Valve to comply with this rule.