So if you remember, there are countries now where Loot Boxes are considered illegal. Two of those countries, arguably the “pioneers” in the realm of loot-box legislation, are Belgium and the Netherlands. These countries pointed out CS:GO specifically as an example of a game whose practices crossed the line and needed to be regulated. As a response to this, Valve had disabled sharing and trading of items for a month, but the latest patch to the game has re-enabled that… but now, players are finding that it’s impossible to open loot crates in those countries now.
So basically, Valve’s solution is to allow people to trade and buys skins and cosmetics directly from other players, but they’re basically unable to crack open the bad boys themselves. Which… is a less-than-ideal solution, but considering the legal situation Valve is in, I guess it’s an understandable reaction.
Is it a forever response? Who can say? Valve has asked the gambling commission in both countries for clarification on what’s okay and what’s not, and it’s possible they could appeal the decision. But until they either get more clarity or the ruling is changed, this will probably be their work-around for the foreseeable future.
And it sucks, sure, but on the other hand, screw loot boxes.