FIFA Ultimate Team isn’t gambling, Dutch appeals court says

A Dutch court overturned a 2020 ruling that said card packs in EA Sports’ FIFA Ultimate Team were a form of gambling and overturned a €10 million fine for violating Dutch gambling laws.

According to the State Council statement of decision (translated by Google). “They are part of the game of skill and add an element of randomness to the game.”“Electronic Arts’ approach to game design puts choice, fun, fairness, and value first. Our priority has always been to ensure that our players in the Netherlands and around the world have a positive experience.”

In the original ruling, the Hague Court ordered Electronic Arts to remove FIFA card sets from its games and imposed a €500,000 fine for each week of non-compliance, up to a maximum of €10 million. EA said it would appeal the decision and did not withdraw the kits from the sale.

Ultimate Team, a mode spanning the EA Sports FIFA, Madden NFL, and NHL series, has generated over $1 billion in revenue for Electronic Arts since fiscal 2018. The company received $1.62 billion from Ultimate Team microtransactions in the fiscal year. which ended in March 2021.

However, in January 2019 Electronic Arts complied with the requirements of the Belgian authorities and pulled out FIFA Points, a currency that players can buy with real money on sale in that country. Belgian regulators announced in September 2018 that loot boxes in Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as well as FIFA 18, were “illegal gambling”. Blizzard Entertainment, Valve Corp. and 2K Games have also disabled unwanted items for sale in Belgium in their games.]

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