Valve Suspends CSGO and DOTA 2 Trading in the Netherlands Following Loot Box Violation

Written by Neil Soutter on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 2:32 PM
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Valve has been forced to suspend the trading of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 loot boxes, and the items contained within, in the Netherlands.

Back in May, Valve was contacted by the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit with two letters accusing their loot boxes of violating the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. Valve explains that the Dutch authorities took a different stance to most other countries and requested that the Loot Boxes must fall within Dutch law by June 20th or Valve would be subject to prosecution. The Dutch Gaming Authority said it can impose fines of €830,000 or 10% of the company’s international turnover, whichever is the greater figure.

As of June 20th, all Loot Box trading was officially suspended for CSGO and DOTA 2 players using Steam in the Netherlands. This was the only workaround that Valve could implement at such short notice and falls into line with the following law:

“Loot boxes 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.”

Valve pithily describes it as a “rather simplistic statement”, although it seems a relatively straightforward rule to adhere to. Once the items can be traded they have a real-world value and therefore constitutes gambling. Remove the trading and the market value is lost, thereby adhering to the ruling of the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit. Valve has apologised to its Dutch customers and hopes that after further consultation with the Kansspelautoriteit they can “refine their legal demands” and find a solution “that is less inconvenient.”

When this issue first came to light, Valve certainly wasn’t the only offender. It looks as if other popular games in Holland are going to have to make similar changes in order to comply with local laws. The big question now is whether any other countries are going to follow suit.

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18:48 Jun-22-2018

10 games out of 22 games that came out 2016-2017 that were investigated in Australia were straight up illegal, including FIFA 17, FIFA 18, MADDEN 17 and MADDEN 18.


They fit the physiological and the legal definition of gambling in Australia. This is great news! This just happened today!

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22:35 Jun-21-2018

i sometimes wonder if the laws are really for the good of people cause i'm not seeing anything good for netherland's consumers here!

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09:39 Jun-22-2018

It's not the law's fault, It's Valve who's trying to find loopholes. The new laws that will be of good use will come next year.

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09:49 Jun-22-2018

The real question is are randomised loot boxes good for Netherland's consumers?

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11:24 Jun-22-2018

but their not banning loot boxes their banning the marketing for their items which is questionable whether it's good or bad

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11:35 Jun-22-2018

They're removing the value attached to the items. Yes, people lose out on the ability to resell them but it also removes a key aspect of their addictive nature. I would prefer if they blocked random loot boxes entirely, but it's a good first step

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12:27 Jun-22-2018

Netherlands doesn't have that law and neither does Belgium, the law to ban loot boxes entirely will be made next year.

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15:03 Jun-21-2018

yeah, its a simplistic statement. They made it simplistic so even idiots would be able to tell whether they're breaking it or not. Valve said they had to speak to a lawyer to get more information about the law, when its just that simple.

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16:04 Jun-21-2018

Exactly what I thought lol. They're just annoyed it's a law that doesn't suit their predatory practice.

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14:35 Jun-21-2018

Thank God for Jim Sterling!

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15:01 Jun-21-2018

But from what he said in the video, Valve is trying a way to circumvent that suspension.

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15:40 Jun-21-2018

Now that the Law has come into the equation, it's not gonna be so easy

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