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CS:GO players in Belgium and the Netherlands can no longer open loot cases

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The latest update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brings both good news and bad news for players in the Netherlands. Steam trading and Steam Market functionality, which were disabled last month, have been re-enabled, but players in the country, as well as Belgium, are no longer able to open containers—which is to say, loot boxes. 

Market and item trading were switched off after the Netherlands Gaming Authority ruled that some videogame loot boxes—it didn't reveal which—were in violation of the country's gambling laws and therefore had to be changed, with a deadline set for June 20. Valve said at the time that it didn't "understand or agree with" the ruling, and had contacted the Gambling Authority for clarification; in the meantime, "our only practical alternative is to disable trading and Steam," it explained.

Belgium issued a similar ruling on loot boxes shortly after the Netherlands and specifically named CS:GO, along with Overwatch and FIFA 18, as being in contravention of the law, but did not set a deadline for compliance. 

Re-enabling the CS:GO market, but disabling cases, means that players in the Netherlands will be able to buy and sell items directly, but not partake in the randomized luck-of-the-draw of lootboxes. That probably won't make CS:GO fans who like to play the ponies very happy, but it's presumably enough to keep Valve out of legal trouble, and it's better than the across-the-board shutdown that Valve went with originally. 

The latest CS:GO patch notes are available in full at counter-strike.net.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.