FIFA Ultimate Team: Austrian court declares loot boxes illegal gambling

FIFA Ultimate Team: Austrian court declares loot boxes illegal gambling

from Michael Miskulin
An Austrian court ruling declared the FUT loot boxes of the FIFA series to be illegal gambling. Sony was also sentenced to a refund.

An Austrian court has ruled that Sony must refund money to Austrian FIFA players. The court of first instance classified the FIFA Ultimate Team Packs (FUT) as a form of illegal gambling.

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Sony ordered to refund

The district court of Hermagor has ruled that the FIFA series FUT packs violate Austria’s gambling laws. The court then ordered Sony to refund the amount spent. Since Sony is responsible for the payment processing, the verdict is directed against the Japanese Playstation company and not against the FIFA developer Electronic Arts.

Austrian players filed several lawsuits in 2020, alleging that FIFA Ultimate Team’s randomized card packs violate Austrian gambling law. Plaintiffs argued that the FUT system would entice players to spend more money – analogous to a slot machine. According to Salburg Rechtsanwalts GmbH, the plaintiffs had spent hundreds of euros on FUT packages – including a minor. Most claims would amount to around 800 euros. In a particularly serious case, the total amount should even be up to 85,000 euros.

With the court ruling, Sony was now asked to reimburse a player 338.26 euros. At the same time, Electronic Arts was instructed to label the FUT packs as “licensed games of chance”. However, the verdict is not yet final and Sony can still appeal.

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Source: via games economy