Valve has announced that players from the Netherlands can no longer trade items gained through Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive due to Dutch gambling legislation against loot boxes.
The announcement came through a message sent to Dutch players of the publisher’s games and was later shared to Reddit. While it has not been stated that the change will be permanent, the move prevents any and all players within the country from trading items earned through the games. Valve cited the reason for this being the threat of legal persecution from the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit, or gaming authority, who found the two games violated the country’s Betting and Gaming Act and required each to be changed in order to remain viable for sale and play.
The change follows findings by the Netherlands Gaming Authority earlier this year which determined four out of 10 prominent titles with loot boxes were in violation of the country’s Betting and Gaming Act, due to the fact that real world value could be attributed to the randomized items given to players through loot boxes. As a result, the publishers of said games were told the titles’ systems had to be altered to comply with the country’s laws or else face legal action. For Valve, this meant changing the systems present in CS:GO and Dota 2 before a June 20 deadline.
Valve is currently in talks with the Kansspelautoriteit and hopes to find a new solution to the issue soon.
“The Kansspelautoriteit accusation is different from how other countries think about loot boxes, so we hired Dutch legal counsel, looked at the recent Study into Loot Boxes published by the Kansspelautoriteit, and learned more about Dutch law,” Valve said. “We still don’t understand or agree with the Kansspelautoriteit’s legal conclusion, and we’ve responded to explain more about CS:GO and Dota 2.”