In accordance with the Dutch law, Valve has halted both trading and use of the Steam Marketplace for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 in the Netherlands. This is because the company believes that, for the time being, shutting down those features is the only practical way for both games to remain on the right side of Dutch gambling legislation.
As Gamasutra reported,“The Netherlands Gaming Authority ruled earlier this year that loot boxes that drop items with real-world value violate its Betting and Gaming Act that typically regulates gambling and games of chance. At the time, the NGA noted that 10 games were currently breaking the law due to this, and it seems that two of Valve’s games were among those initial titles.”
In a message sent to Dutch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players and later shared to Reddit, Valve confirmed that they had received two letters from the Dutch Kansspelautoriteit in regards to both CS:GOand Dota 2, each threatening to prosecute if Valve did not bring both games in-line with the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act by June 20.
“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. We still don’t understand or agree with the Kansspelautoriteit’s legal conclusion, and we’ve responded to explain more about CS:GOand Dota 2,” said Valve
“We hope that, after more engagement with the Kansspelautoriteit, they may refine their legal demands and we can find a solution that is less inconvenient.“ Valve concluded.
The issue of predatory gambling practices was inflated by games such as EA’s Battlefront 2 and Warner Bros’ Shadow of War last year. Multiple countries and legislation have taken the issue as socio-political and debates regarding whether lootboxes should be banned or not continues to this day.