A study on loot boxes by the Dutch Gaming Authority early this year concluded that some loot boxes are in violation of the country’s gambling laws and must be changed. The report stated “The reason is that the content of these loot boxes is determined by chance and that the prizes to be won can be traded outside of the game: the prizes have a market value”. The regulatory body didn’t reveal which games were included in the investigation, but warned that ‘enforcement action’ would be taken against them if the loot boxes weren’t modified in order to meet the legal requirements by 20 June 2018.
In order to become compliant with their CS:GO and Dota 2 loot boxes, Valve (the game developers behind digital distribution platform Steam) are now allowing Dutch players to preview the drop before actually purchasing it. Dutch players can now see rewards before buying a loot box and there is no option to purchase multiple boxes at the same time. Additionally, the special loot box opening animation has been ditched. These new changes were not listed in any Valve patch logs and it is unknown whether this is just a temporary action until they find a better solution to comply with the Dutch laws.