The Netherlands Imposes A €10m Fine On EA For Its Loot Boxes

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor October 29, 2020
Share:

Two and a half years ago, the Netherlands Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit or simply "Ksa") classified the loot boxes in four games as gambling. One of them, FIFA, and its creator Electronic Arts, had its day in court recently -- almost a year ago, as it turns out -- and the final ruling came down this week to the tune of a €10 million fine.

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that a Netherlands District Court upheld the Ksa's ruling, saying that it is "crucial to shield vulnerable groups, such as minors, from exposure to gambling ... As such, gambling elements have no place in games." EA had the chance to remove the packs by June 20, 2018, an option the Ksa said it declined. EA is now "responsible for changing the game such that it is no longer in contravention of the law. How exactly it accomplishes this is at their discretion."

The language of the ruling is notable; it doesn't appear that the Ksa needed to prove that FIFA Ultimate Team packs were gambling, only that they resembled "gambling elements." GI.biz noted that the Netherlands' "Betting and Gaming Act is based on the assumption that games of chance carry with them a risk of gambling addiction."

EA unsuccessfully argued that the forbidding FIFA Ultimate Team packs violated its rights to property and freedom of expression. The Ksa responded by saying that the Betting and Gaming Act's commitment to public safety outweighed those rights and freedoms. EA also argued against making the amount of the fine public, so as not to damage its reputation, but it was ruled that doing so was in the public's best interest.

Electronic Arts naturally resisted the ruling and has six weeks to appeal it. Even if the fine holds, €10 million is only about $11.6 million USD. Electronic Arts' net bookings in its FY2021 (mid-2020 to mid-2021) was $5.98 billion, so the fine, if enforced, won't impact the company's business directly. But it could establish a precedent that other nations might be quick to pick up on and hand EA even greater losses.

Share:
Got a news tip? Contact us directly here!

In this article: Electronic Arts, FIFA, Loot Boxes.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (1)

Kestas32 10 months ago
Finnaly some good news in 2020 lol


You May Enjoy

Star Citizen Dinged By UK Advertising Regulator

Star Citizen Dinged By UK Advertising Regulator

Concept ship ad copy "could have been made clearer"

By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
Rocket League Announces NFL Fan Pass, Just In Time For The Season To Start

Rocket League Announces NFL Fan Pass, Just In Time For The Season To Start

Have some football in your….Car (other) football game.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
Neverwinter's First Battle Pass Arrives October 1

Neverwinter's First Battle Pass Arrives October 1

Echoes of Prophecy will be available on PC and consoles for free.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
It's Time For Reflection As Episode 3 Act II Launches In Valorant, Bringing The Fracture Map With It

It's Time For Reflection As Episode 3 Act II Launches In Valorant, Bringing The Fracture Map With It

You've Also Got A Whole New Battlepass To Start Working Through!

By Michael Byrne - 1 week ago
Rob Blackwood's Vault In Warface's Heist Update For PlayStation And Xbox

Rob Blackwood's Vault In Warface's Heist Update For PlayStation And Xbox

Switch update coming "soon."

By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
Court Rules That Former Destiny Composer Illegally Distributed And Sold Music

Court Rules That Former Destiny Composer Illegally Distributed And Sold Music

Penalties would be in excess of $100,000.

By Jason Winter - 4 days ago
See More
Live Giveaways