Pack acquittal for FUT: Correct judgment, fatal signal

For years, lawyers of various countries have been fighting against so-called Lootboxes in video games to legally sanction or even ban their gambling mechanisms. Lootboxes include the FUT packs that can be purchased, among other things, by FIFA Points and thus the use of real money.

FUT packs are based on random, players do not know when buying what content them will be presented – with the exception of preview packs, which EA Sports had introduced in FIFA 21. The coincidence determines the content, ERGO could be assumed that there is a reasonable gambling.

Raad van State contradicts KSA and The Hague


Exactly this assumption, the Dutch gambling supervision (KSA) in October 2019 for the occupancy of the FIFA developer EA with a forced benefit – total up to ten million euros. The District Court The Hague confirmed this measure in October 2020 and rejected the appealed appeal as unfounded.

However, from the highest national instance – through the Supreme Administrative Court of the Netherlands, the Raad Van State – this judgment was cashed in on March 9th. The court held the appeal by EA, do not handle the FUT mode and its pack practice for rights-managed gambling. The sanctions were repealed.

Fatale signal effect in the fight against gambling

The KSA thus has had a hearty fix in the fight against online gambling mechanisms and also for the corresponding addiction prevention. However, a fatal signal effect could not only have this judgment for the Netherlands, but also for the German handling of the problem.

The judgment is quite sensible and legally correct. The KSA had ultimately awarded a violation of Article 1 (1) preamble and under A) in the Dutch Gambling Act.

“To enable competitions for prices or bonuses, if the winners are determined by a probability assessment to which the participants regularly can not exert any predominant influence, unless a permit was granted under this law,” is the ban on this Job.

Separation and trade as a reasoning arroger

The basic gambling characterized the KSA by “coincidence determined content” as well as a “profit with economic value”. In their argumentation against the FIFA Points and the associated pack purchase, the authority relied on two parent pillars – the separation and trade.

The criticized practice is released from the actual game, because on the virtual lawn – no packs could be bought or opened to the core of FIFA and FUT. In addition, the “economic value” of the profit was given by the possible trade on the external black market.

EA, on the other hand, studied the packs as “part of a comprehensive skill”, as “marginal random solution” – and not as a separate game. Furthermore, the developer emphasized that the content of the packs could not be legally transformed into cash and therefore the economy was closed.

In EAS headquarters in the US, one should have been suspended. An opposite judgment could have far-reaching consequences. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Court recognizes no “closed process”

In fact, EA does not allow trade with FUT objects outside the integrated and regulated transfer market, infringements led to punishes for the players in the past. There can also be no question of profit, as the content of the packs have no value in the traffic.

The Raad Van State agreed to the video game giant in this argument chain. Packs are not an end in themselves, but rather means for the purpose to play the game. The “closed process”, which the KSA criticized when buying and opening packs, did not recognize the Supreme Administrative Court.

Practice of the majority breaks KSA the neck

The ultimately jumping point is probably a formulation that the Hoge Raad – the highest court of the monarchy – once applied for the criterion: “For the element probability is relevant, how a game in practice is played by the majority of players.” The KSA broke this aspect.

In 1991, the Hoge Raad had decided against the “Golden-Ten-Ten Game”, at that time the signs were reversed: defended with the argument that through long observation could maximize the odds of winning. Decisive, however, was that the majority of the players did not act in practice.

92 percent of pack purchases without real money

In reverse, the Raad Van State now ruled that reality is different from the KSA providing an overwhelming bulk of the players who deserves the packs through game engagement. EA resulted in 92 percent as a sentence in the field, which should develop the packages without real money use.

At this point, the public remains solely confidence in the Supreme Dutch Administrative Court, to have audited this information properly. In addition, the FIFA developer put a study by Prof. Dr. med. Rh Koning for game practice in FUT.

This also concludes that Ultimate Team is a “mixed skill game”. The pack environment is unable not separated, but to find directly in FUT.

KSA case breaks like a card house

The KSA is in turn failed to prove that packs “widely” were bought and opened by the actual game separately. Such a proof should hardly be able to lead, the fewest players probably invest in fut objects, without then sending them to the digital space.

The gambling authority was thus vehemented on the thesis that the pack practice is in Fut from FIFA to separate that the entire case after the conclusive refutation of this assumption through EA as a card house collapsed. Now the KSA is there with empty hands – and bears the cost of the procedure.

“Extensive document” remains disregarded

Instead of providing the billions companies with a sensitive fine and in a sustainable to be able to move into a questionable light, even the stock market must be gripped. It should be noted that the KSA had presented another “extensive document” on 18 November 2021.

However, the scope and date of submission prompted the Raad van State to disregard this document for the process. It violates the procedural order, as EA could not react appropriately – the KSA would have likely to be able to present it sooner.

Continue a fight against windmills

To speculate that said document would have a paradigm shift for the trial, is idle – and irrelevant. The KSA has probably joined himself after the benevolent judgment from the Hague, EA had the more closer arguments at the highest level. Maybe the attempt was also sentenced to failure for failure.

Gambling supervision and the District Court The Hague apparently assumed the greatest possible scope and therefore wanted to classify the pack practice as a stand-alone game. That this interpretation would fail and fut would not be sanctioned in its entirety, almost obvious in the retrospective effect.

The legal action against the gambling mechanisms in Fut remains a fight against windmills. And quite like Don Quijote in the world-famous novel by Miguel de Cervantes, the KSA could occur after the completion of the process – on the metaphorical tone bed of prohibition hopping – too later.

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