A Dutch judge has given permission to Kansspelautoriteit, the betting body in the Netherlands, to fine EA for lootbox of FIFA 21. The American giant now has 3 weeks if he doesn’t want to run into one more of 250 thousand euros per week, for a maximum of 10 million euros to be divided equally between the parent company and its European division.
According to judge lootboxes are real gambling, therefore they must be regulated differently and not freely inserted within a product that can also end up in the hands of minors.
EA had tried to appeal to the KSA, arguing that the lootboxes were not gamble, since they are a small part of the FIFA experience, and they don’t allow you to win real money or items, but all things in-game.
For the EA Country manager of Benelux Dirk Scholing, said he was disappointed with the ruling and told us that EA will seek a dialogue with the authorities to find a solution that does not penalize players. “Players around the world have been enjoying FIFA and FIFA Ultimate Team mode for many years. For this reason we are disappointed with this decision and what it could mean for our Dutch community. We do not believe that our products and services violate gambling laws in any way. We appeal this decision and try to avoid a situation that affects the ability of Dutch players to experience and fully enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team. We try to bring chance, fairness, value and fun to all of our players in all of our games. We remain open to discussions with the Dutch Gambling Authority and other interested parties to understand and explore solutions to address any issue“.
The American giant has though 3 weeks to comply with the terms of the sentence, fines of 500 thousand euros per week (250 for EA and 250 for the local division) will be triggered up to a maximum of 10 million euros.
Online bets are severely limited in the Netherlands and cannot be put online except with a permit. Do you think other European nations should adapt?