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Loot boxes now illegal in Belgium

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Video game loot boxes are now considered criminal gambling in Belgium

EA, Activision, and Blizzard are now in trouble.

"Belgian law considers four factors when deciding whether something constitutes gambling: there must be a game element, there is some form of betting, that betting can lead to profit or loss, and chance plays a role. "

That probably covers gatchas.

 

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1 hour ago, animats said:

that betting can lead to profit or loss,

That probably covers gatchas.

 

catchas never have a loss, you always get a item for a certain price

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3 hours ago, Ethan Paslong said:

catchas never have a loss, you always get a item for a certain price

I keep hearing that argument... and I wonder where people left their brains (in the slot machine I guess). The problem is: You can resell the yield for different prices, as soon as there is a rare it is kinda gambling and judges might percieve it as such.

PS: But in any case. my suggestion: Move gachas to something like skill gaming regions and all might be fine again.

Edited by Fionalein

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6 hours ago, animats said:

Video game loot boxes are now considered criminal gambling in Belgium

EA, Activision, and Blizzard are now in trouble.

"Belgian law considers four factors when deciding whether something constitutes gambling: there must be a game element, there is some form of betting, that betting can lead to profit or loss, and chance plays a role. "

That probably covers gatchas.

 

I find it interesting that your quoted text appears nowhere in the link you provided.. Also, they specifically stated "Loot boxes" not gatchas.  Loot boxes cost upwards of hundreds of USD, the most i have seen a gatcha machine for is 200L. What people do with them after they get the rares is not gambling, you know exactly what you are getting. 

FUD, please stop spreading it. 

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22 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

I find it interesting that your quoted text appears nowhere in the link you provided.. Also, they specifically stated "Loot boxes" not gatchas.  Loot boxes cost upwards of hundreds of USD, the most i have seen a gatcha machine for is 200L. What people do with them after they get the rares is not gambling, you know exactly what you are getting. 

FUD, please stop spreading it. 

Actually, that's not true. Many loot boxes in games cost only a couple dollars USD, and operate exactly like a gatcha- you have a chance of getting rare, uncommon, or common loot. Often entirely cosmetic.

Further, most loot box contents can't be resold and turned into real cash like we can here in SL.

If this starts to become a mainstream thing for lawmakers, gatcha policy will definitely have to change.

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18 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Actually, that's not true. Many loot boxes in games cost only a couple dollars USD, and operate exactly like a gatcha- you have a chance of getting rare, uncommon, or common loot. Often entirely cosmetic.

Yes, and i have seen some that cost 99USD.. Which was my point. I have never seen a gatcha machine that cost more than 200L to play. 

19 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Further, most loot box contents can't be resold and turned into real cash like we can here in SL.

Which would make them not loot boxes. Plus, Gatcha machines do nothing to improve your chances at winning SL. There is no winning. ITS NOT A GAME! 

Are those coin operated plastic egg toy machines banned in Belgium? Same exact  thing as a gatcha. Its not gambling. Its a fun harmless game. Plus, no one is forcing anyone to buy them, loot boxes or gachas. Perhaps Belgium and lawmakers should let the parents decide if they want to pay for their kids fun. If i want to let my kid spend $25 USD on a loot box as a birthday gift, who are they to tell me i cant? It's my freaking money. They already got their cut. Some things should be policed, this is not one of them. 

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3 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

Yes, and i have seen some that cost 99USD.. Which was my point. I have never seen a gatcha machine that cost more than 200L to play. 

Which would make them not loot boxes. Plus, Gatcha machines do nothing to improve your chances at winning SL. There is no winning. ITS NOT A GAME! 

Are those coin operated plastic egg toy machines banned in Belgium? Same exact  thing as a gatcha. Its not gambling. Its a fun harmless game. Plus, no one is forcing anyone to buy them, loot boxes or gachas. Perhaps Belgium and lawmakers should let the parents decide if they want to pay for their kids fun. If i want to let my kid spend $25 USD on a loot box as a birthday gift, who are they to tell me i cant? It's my freaking money. They already got their cut. Some things should be policed, this is not one of them. 

I didn't say we had to like it or agree with it.

I said I suspect the laws made for loot boxes would likely affect gatcha if many start cropping up. Most politicians that make laws don't know anything about what they're regulating other than that they want to regulate it.

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30 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

I didn't say we had to like it or agree with it.

I said I suspect the laws made for loot boxes would likely affect gatcha if many start cropping up. Most politicians that make laws don't know anything about what they're regulating other than that they want to regulate it.

I highly doubt there are politicians in SL flipping their collective lids over gatchas.. Again though, who are they to police what i do with my money? I doubt this will ever come to pass in the US. 

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6 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

I find it interesting that your quoted text appears nowhere in the link you provided..

That's from the translation of the press release from the Belgian authorities linked in the article.

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2 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

I highly doubt there are politicians in SL flipping their collective lids over gatchas.. Again though, who are they to police what i do with my money? I doubt this will ever come to pass in the US. 

Lol, ... this argument coming out out of the country that banned Kinder Surprise and supersized menus... yeah sure, the US is save from laws that restrict stuff, ROFL. FREEDOM!

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6 hours ago, Fionalein said:

Lol, ... this argument coming out out of the country that banned Kinder Surprise and supersized menus... yeah sure, the US is save from laws that restrict stuff, ROFL. FREEDOM!

Well, some kids choked ( :P to you Syn..) on the kinder surprise and i'm not sure where you are from but we still have super sized foods available, hell you can get a half gallon of pepsi at KFC..  

 

Edited by Drake1 Nightfire

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27 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

Well, some kids coked on the kinder surprise

Now that is so much worse than merely choking on them. Crazy american kids!

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There isn't really a chance in gacha - you purchase each item with a set amount of lindens. Whether its the item you want or not is irrelevant as there is a key you can look at before deciding to put your money in but you will always get an item for paying.  With loot boxes (the "pay first, receive later" ones) you always know what kind of items you will be getting ahead of time (house, avatar appearance etc) before paying the amount asked for.  You may not always like the items or use them but you are still guaranteed to get an item or group of items for the money paid.  For me it is no different than people charging for hunt items: you may get a great item, you may get a lousy item or you may get an item like I usually get that stays boxed up for years after the hunt is over! :) 

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I've always advocated for gachas to be removed under the policy regarding wagering Second Life. The policy starts with:

Quote

It is a violation of this policy to wager in games in the Second Life® environment operated on Linden Lab servers if such games:

  1. Rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner,
    OR
  2. Rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,

AND provide a payout in

  1. Linden Dollars (L$)
    OR
  2. Any real-world currency or thing of value.

Gachas violate that first point as they rely on chance/random number generation to pick your prize. It's the second half that is debatable as I consider it a violation as it rewards you with an item of varying value which can be resold for L$. I would consider this as violation of the second point as the item you receive is a "thing of value" but this may be referring a real world physical thing of value not something within SL of value.

Later in the policy  it states the following:

Quote

What if no Linden dollars or other "consideration" are accepted or paid out?

If entry is truly "free" (as with a promotional sweepstakes), and the game's operator requires no "consideration" or payment from other players or entrants, then that activity will likely be permitted, assuming compliance with all other applicable laws.

If the "payout" involves objects that are more akin to novelty objects that cannot readily be converted into Linden dollars, real-world currency or value, then that activity will likely be permitted.

That second sentence is that leads me to believe gachas should not be allowed as the item received can be converted to L$ by selling it, especially with the varying values of prizes. I also believe raffle systems should be removed for the same reasons.

Source: Linden Lab Official:Policy Regarding Wagering in Second Life

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2 minutes ago, Hintswen Guardian said:

I've always advocated for gachas to be removed under the policy regarding wagering Second Life. The policy starts with:

Gachas violate that first point as they rely on chance/random number generation to pick your prize. It's the second half that is debatable as I consider it a violation as it rewards you with an item of varying value which can be resold for L$. I would consider this as violation of the second point as the item you receive is a "thing of value" but this may be referring a real world physical thing of value not something within SL of value.

Later in the policy  it states the following:

That second sentence is that leads me to believe gachas should not be allowed as the item received can be converted to L$ by selling it, especially with the varying values of prizes. I also believe raffle systems should be removed for the same reasons.

Source: Linden Lab Official:Policy Regarding Wagering in Second Life

The sentence you said mentioned readily coverted into Lindens. With a gacha item, you need to put it on sale and then someone needs to decide to buy it.

Gacha originated in Japan. The one aspect not allowed there in RL gacha is running a place that would pay players a fixed, advertised price for rare items - there were places that did that and they were shut down.

Without that, gacha is exactly the same as buying a packet of baseball cards, etc.

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4 hours ago, Hintswen Guardian said:

Gachas violate that first point as they rely on chance/random number generation to pick your prize.

Except that the exact wording is "Rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner".  Every Gatcha interaction produces a prize, which could be interpreted to mean that every player is a winner - as opposed to playing a slot machine where you can put money in and get nothing out, based on chance.

As Theresa said, the key word in the other section is "readily".  Without an MP store or inworld sales location, it it not too easy to sell said items.  I for one have no such setup - same for many folks.  Thus many folks just trade Gatcha items with other players, much like kids trading away baseball cards that they don't want.

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9 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

The sentence you said mentioned readily coverted into Lindens. With a gacha item, you need to put it on sale and then someone needs to decide to buy it.

Gacha originated in Japan. The one aspect not allowed there in RL gacha is running a place that would pay players a fixed, advertised price for rare items - there were places that did that and they were shut down.

Without that, gacha is exactly the same as buying a packet of baseball cards, etc.

Additionally, gambling is usually illegal in Japan but there are a few exceptions (e.g. sports betting)

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Yes, it is a game of chance.  But is it really any different than the kid buying a pack of baseball cards, hidden in a foil wrapper, hoping to get a specific player?

BTW, while I don't see Gatcha as gambling and thus would argue that it isn't, I'm not arguing the no-gambling point so that I can keep playing them.  I'm not really a Gatcha person - I'm not one to trust my money to luck or chance much.  I've played 3 or 4 Gatcha machines total and definitely put way less that L$1000 in them in total.

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Yes it is totally different, for one you are not putting money into a machine and hoping you get what you want. That being said, law defines gaming as

The act or practice of gambling; an agreement between two or more individuals to play collectively at a game of chance for a stake or wager, which will become the property of the winner and to which all involved make a contribution. So by that definition, would you not see Gacha the same as say a slot machine?

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20 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

for one you are not putting money into a machine and hoping you get what you want

These machines can still be found in the US at some sporting memoribilia events - and they are legal and not considered gambling.  The dude is totally putting money into a machine HOPING to get the card(s) he wants -- but he might not. Whatever package he chooses may end up having stuff he either already has or just plain does not want.
image.png.6e796837cbb631644e3a9e03a03342e2.png

 

20 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

law defines gaming as

The act or practice of gambling; an agreement between two or more individuals to play collectively at a game of chance for a stake or wager, which will become the property of the winner and to which all involved make a contribution. So by that definition, would you not see Gacha the same as say a slot machine?

Gambling is basically giving over money (or something else of value) for a chance at "something".  So, yes, you are correct in that it is all gambling.  It comes in all forms and is sometimes legal and sometimes not, sometimes has restrictions and sometimes doesn't, and sometimes isn't even considered gambling by most.

The raffle tickets that the schools and such sell hit the gambling definition, but they are legal and usually not called 'gambling' and usually with far less restrictions than casino gambling.  The lottery is gambling - though that one everyone actually admits is gambling but states and other jurisdications are so desperate for money that they simply write new laws to regulate it differently.  Paying money for a pack of baseball cards that you do not know what is inside and you are just hoping you get what you want is the same thing, but that one is not labeled as gambling and has no restrictions put on it. 

In truth though, the Gatcha machine more closely resembles the pack of baseball cards than the raffle tickets or lottery.  At least with Gatcha, like the baseball cards, you are guaranteed to get something.  Unlike raffle tickets, lottery tickets, and casino gambling machines where you actually have a very, very strong likelihood of not getting anything.

Thus, there is gambling and there is gambling. 

Edited by LittleMe Jewell

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I play multiple games with loot boxes and I don’t see gatcha machines as anything different. In most games though, you are stuck with whatever you got. Here, you can sell it... possibly for a profit. 

You pay a gatcha machine in a currency worth real money. You get an item worth real money. You are gambling that what you get will be worth more than what you put in (at least those who want to resell). 

If I put 50 cents in a slot machine and hope I get $1 back, that’s gambling. So how is it if I put 50L in a gatcha machine and hope to get something worth 100L that it’s not considered gambling 

 

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18 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

Except that the exact wording is "Rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner".  Every Gatcha interaction produces a prize, which could be interpreted to mean that every player is a winner - as opposed to playing a slot machine where you can put money in and get nothing out, based on chance.

No lose sploders use RNG to determine prizes and they are not allowed due to the policy.

11 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

The raffle tickets that the schools and such sell hit the gambling definition, but they are legal and usually not called 'gambling' and usually with far less restrictions than casino gambling.  The lottery is gambling - though that one everyone actually admits is gambling but states and other jurisdications are so desperate for money that they simply write new laws to regulate it differently.  Paying money for a pack of baseball cards that you do not know what is inside and you are just hoping you get what you want is the same thing, but that one is not labeled as gambling and has no restrictions put on it. 

In truth though, the Gatcha machine more closely resembles the pack of baseball cards than the raffle tickets or lottery.  At least with Gatcha, like the baseball cards, you are guaranteed to get something.  Unlike raffle tickets, lottery tickets, and casino gambling machines where you actually have a very, very strong likelihood of not getting anything.

Raffle tickets (in my country at least) are regulated by law and are only legal under certain circumstances as they are considered gambling. Where I live it is regulated by the the state commission for gambling and liquor. Their regulations state that for Raffles with a prize value of $500 or less (which would be any SL raffle I have ever seen) no permit is required however the total value of tickets must be between 2-6 times the total value of the prize(s), tickets can only be sold for 1 day or within an eight hour period, the winner must be drawn on the same day or within 8 hours, records must be kept for three years. There are also restrictions on where the proceeds of raffles can be sent to. I don't know of any SecondLife raffles that follow these regulations. Sure they are different for other countries but I would assume the regulations around the world have some similar requirements which aren't met by SecondLife raffles.

7 hours ago, Nalytha said:

You pay a gatcha machine in a currency worth real money. You get an item worth real money. You are gambling that what you get will be worth more than what you put in (at least those who want to resell). 

If I put 50 cents in a slot machine and hope I get $1 back, that’s gambling. So how is it if I put 50L in a gatcha machine and hope to get something worth 100L that it’s not considered gambling 

This is exactly why I believe all gachas and raffle systems should not be allowed.

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