FIFA: The Justice Of The Netherlands Imposes A Fine On EA For The Envelopes Of FUT

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FIFA: The courts consider that the FIFA Ultimate Team loot boxes do not fit within the law that punishes games of chance. The hard and long legal battle between the authorities of the Netherlands and Electronic Arts for the FIFA loot boxes adds a new chapter. After fining EA up to a maximum of 10 million dollars (an amount that has never been paid), the story has taken a new turn, since the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State of this country now considers that It is “an unjustified fine”, so it exonerates the company from paying any fine.

The Hague Court ruled in October 2020 the possibility of fining EA $500,000 per week if it continued to sell envelopes in FIFA Ultimate Team. The Justice then assured that this practice was a violation of the gambling law, a decision now revoked. The weekly fine has never been deposited because Electronic Arts challenged the court’s decision and decided not to pay and continue to sell its digital products in FIFA Ultimate Team.

It is not gambling according to the law

This new sentence does not resolve the substance of the debate, the question that many have asked: Are loot boxes bets? What they do conclude is that according to Dutch law, a gambling license is only required if the product is a slot machine rather than an individual item.

“Although packs cannot be opened when playing matches, it is possible to open them in FUT mode.” Therefore, the fact that they are opened outside of the matches themselves does not determine that it is “a separate game”. Thus, as envelopes are not an independent game, they are not considered games of chance and do not require a license. Therefore, the publisher has not violated the law and cannot “impose the payment of a fine.”