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Compliance Updates

Belgium’s Gambling Commission rules against loot boxes

George Miller

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Belgium rules against loot boxes
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Kansspelcommissie, Belgium’s gaming commission ruled against a few video games and warned millionaire penalties if they’re not adjusted. The threatened operators face fines up to US$2 million if a number of popular video games are not adjusted.

The Belgian Gaming Commission calls these loot boxes game of chance, and if these are further exploited, they will insist on tough legal actions.

Kansspelcommissie explained that they started analyzing various video games in the end of 2017 to decide whether the loot boxes or the so called “in game elements” meet the definition of a game of chance. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Star Wars Battlefront II, Overwatch and FIFA 18 were among the analyzed games.

Because the phenomenon is broader than the 4 games examined, the Gaming Commission makes a number of recommendations to both the policy makers, the game manufacturers, the game platforms and the license providers such as FIFA,” said the commission, which assured that protecting players and vulnerable groups such as minors is the most important mission.

Peter Naessens, Director at the Gaming Commission, said: “Paying loot boxes are not an innocent part of video games that present themselves as games of skill. Players are seduced and deceived by it and none of the protective measures for gambling are applied. Now that it is clear that children and vulnerable people in particular are exposed to them unprotected, the game manufacturers but also the parties involved are called upon to stop this practice.

 

Source: FocusGN.com

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Compliance Updates

Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands

Niji Ng

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Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands
Image Source: slate.com
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The voting on the Remote Gaming Bill in the Dutch parliament has been postponed. It will now take place on February 19.

The bill has been under development since 2015. MPs debated the Bill and the Casino Reform Bill in the Senate this week also, but the all-important vote has been postponed to February 19.

At present, judging from the tone and content of the debate on parliament, the Bill is likely to be passed.

Sander Dekker, Minister Justice, said about the concern of MPs was whether operators who had operated illegally in the Dutch market would be allowed to gain a license:: “A license applicant who has actively offered online gambling services in the past will be able to remove doubt regarding its future reliability by showing good behavior during a consecutive period prior to the license application. During the debate on February 5, I have called this a “cooling down period.”

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Compliance Updates

Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map

George Miller

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Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map
Bacta meet with the Minister - (L-R): Bacta President elect James Miller, Gambling Minister Mims Davies and Bacta’s National President Gabi Stergides
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A senior Bacta delegation, comprising National President Gabi Stergides, President elect James Miller and CEO John White met last week with the Gambling Minister Mims Davies and her Civil Service advisers. The meeting, which took place on Wednesday 6 February, was held at Portcullis House and followed the Minister’s attendance at November’s Bacta Parliamentary Reception.

Gabi Stergides said: “When we met in November, the Minister had only recently taken charge of the gambling and amusements portfolio following the resignation of Tracey Crouch, over the proposed delay in implementing the £2 FOBT stake that was subsequently rescinded.

“Last week we took the opportunity to provide a more detailed perspective of the amusement industry and what it contributes to national, regional and local economies, set out our plans for developing a road map of the changes we wished to see alongside appropriate player protection measures and to demonstrate the reasons why player tracking is not appropriate for our sector.

“Discussions surrounding social responsibility featured prominently and we explained the ways in which we are working with and advising the pub sector on age verification as well as expanding on the success of Bacta’s first Social Responsibility Exchange and how we want to extend its scope and influence moving forward. We also took the opportunity to express our views more generally about the importance of keeping the industry competitive in what is a fast moving world of digital entertainment, the role of the Gambling Commission as both regulator and facilitator and potential mergers which may take place among UK trade bodies and associations.”

“It was a very positive exchange and I look forward to the Bacta leadership team developing a progressive and open relationship with the Minister.”

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Compliance Updates

Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games

Niji Ng

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Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games
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Ireland could become the next country to ban lootboxes in video games, following the footsteps of countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dáil, the lower house of parliament in the Republic of Ireland, is discussing the legality of loot boxes.

Loot boxes are popular among the players. They are also a major source of revenue for game manufacturers, as loot boxes are often sold for real money.

However, it has also forced many governments look critically at the practice.

David Stanton, the current Minister of State responded that if any video game was offering a product that was considered gambling under Irish law, they must obtain a license for it. According to Stanton, no video game manufacturer has sought out a license in Ireland or another EU member state for loot boxes.

Minister Stanton repeated the concerns of the Gaming Regulators European Forum that certain video games were offering products that could be considered gambling under some national laws in the EU. Heydon used examples to outline how loot boxes worked and why they were viewed as gambling products.

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