EA opts not to contest fine as Austrian court rules FIFA loot boxes breached gambling laws

This ruling came after a group of PlayStation-playing FIFA users brought the case to the court.

Palace of Justice Vienna
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Electronic Arts (EA) has announced its decision not to contest the €10,800 ($11,750) fine imposed by an Austrian court after the court deemed that FIFA Ultimate Team packs violated the country's gambling laws.

In March, Sony was also implicated in the matter and was directed to reimburse affected players for purchases made through the PlayStation Store, although it retains the option to appeal.

The Austrian court's decision stands, even though EA still maintains its disagreement with the verdict.

Addressing the situation, an EA spokesperson said: "We disagree with the court's decision and believe it got both the facts and law wrong in this case.

“While we've decided not to appeal this narrow decision, which has no broader legal impact beyond this individual claim, we are confident that our games do not constitute gambling and that we are in full compliance with local laws."

Austria's legal system operates on a case-by-case basis, where judgments on individual instances do not create binding precedents for future cases.

This specific ruling, while not having wide-ranging implications, pertains only to the claim at hand.

The spokesperson further added: "Regulators and courts around the world have ruled in favour of EA in similar cases, including in another case decided by the same Austrian Regional Court that reached this decision.

“We design our games to bring choice, fairness, value and fun – we are committed to ensuring our Austrian players continue to have access to the same game and features as the millions of other players who enjoy them."

The ongoing debate surrounding the concept of blind-chance purchases, as seen in FIFA Ultimate Team packs, has led various countries to scrutinise its impact on consumer spending.

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