Money laundering concerns leads to loot box restrictions

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Published by Daniel Hardman on November 04, 2019 in Industry News

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Over the past few years governing bodies of several countries have started focusing more closely on any and all activities that resemble gambling.   
 

The idea for many countries is to strictly regulate anything gambling related in an effort to protect citizens against gambling problems.
 

The main concern for many is to find and eliminate any gambling activities that might affect children or teenagers.  

Loot Boxes have been deemed too similar to games of chances and have been banned in several areas.  

Just recently a popular game developer announced that they will be introducing stricter restrictions to Loot Boxes.  
 

Loot Box News 

The game developer, Valve, announced late October that they will be introducing restrictions to loot boxes due to money laundering concerns. According to the company any new keys bought during the game will no longer be tradeable in online communities, and will also not be marketable in such a way.  

This latest loot box news comes shortly after UK regulators criticized their use as gambling and urged for the government to implement stricter laws on loot boxes. At the time the government acknowledged concerns regarding the loot boxes but chose not to limit the purchasing of loot boxes. Now developers themselves are making forced changes to the loot boxes over fears that these boxes might be used for money laundering.  
 

Blocking possible money laundering fraud 

In the recent press release by Valve the company stated that as of now all keys bought for the purpose of unlocking loot boxes will remain linked to the account from which they were purchased. This means that you will no longer be able to trade these keys in communities such as Steam or sell them off for a profit.  

According to the developer all keys that were sold previously will still be subject to old rules and the new rules will only apply to future purchases.  

The main reason for the stricter rules on loot box keys are due to global fraud networks making use of keys to liquidate their assets. According to Valve most of the keys that are currently available to trade or sell are supplied by a fraudulent source. With this in mind Valve has implemented stricter rules and believes that blocking all types of selling and trading is the answer.  
 

Not the latest scandal 

It seems that Valve has had a few knocks when it comes to scandals and that this was just the latest scandal to hit the developer. Before this the company was connected with third-party betting sites that used game skins as a form of currency for gambling. Before this was put to a stop the sales generated $5 billion in bets, and Valve was believed to have received a share through Steam trades.  

And just a few months ago Valve made the news when their loot boxes were accused of being an encouragement for children to gamble. This was strongly contested by the developer as loot boxes are nothing more than extra rewards to amplify in-game fun.  

With the new restrictions in place there is hope that Valve can curb down the scandals and end of the year more positively.

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