portal Chronicle of Video Games pointed out that the Austrian court recognized the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) jerseys in Electronic Arts’ FIFA football simulators as gambling.
FUT Packs currently are in-game kits whose contents (players, club items) are randomly determined. Before opening, the user does not know the content of the loot box.
In 2020, several players from Austria, including a minor, sued Sony (which handles payments on PlayStation) for “losing” more than €400 on this mechanic in FIFA.
According to Ulrich Salburg, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, the ability to spend real money on the random bet system in FIFA violates Austrian gambling law.
According to a preliminary ruling by the district court of Hermagor in Austria, Sony Interactive Entertainment has to pay EUR 338.26. However, the platform owner still has the opportunity to appeal the decision.
An Austrian court has ruled that FIFA loot boxes violate gambling laws as their contents theoretically offer a financial benefit to those lucky enough to get a more valuable item in the set.
The fight against loot boxes in the EU has been going on for a long time. In 2018, random content sets were equated with gambling in Belgium, and literally in early 2023, the European Parliament voted to tighten regulation of this market segment.