Paid PUBG loot boxes have been disabled for players in the Netherlands and Belgium this week. Reselling valuable loot box content is considered illegal under its gambling laws.
According to PUBG. Corp, a "recent legal interpretation" regarding loot boxes means the studio has disabled loot box key purchase and usage in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Dutch Games of Chance authority, or Kansspelautoriteit, has investigated several popular games containing loot boxes in 2018 and considered many of these to be illegal. The titles investigated include PUBG, CSGO, FIFA 18, Dota 2, and Rocket League.
The authority started the investigation because it wanted to find out whether loot boxes in games encourage gambling addiction.
Are loot boxes in games gambling? The Dutch Games of Chance authority states that some of the loot boxes investigated are designed to make players feel like they almost won content.
When random loot box content is tradable there is almost always a certain monetary value associated with that content. This is why these countries consider paid loot boxes with random content gambling.
Last year, Valve also disabled CSGO loot boxes due to it being against the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act.