A report on the the Gambling Act violation by Electronic Arts in FIFA 19 was sent to the Polish Ministry of Finance, the Customs Service and the Warsaw Fiscal Control Office.
Microtransactions in video games appeared on the spotlight during the scandal of the so-called loot boxes in last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront II game and since then, Electronic Arts, the game publisher, has to deal with this problem. Micropayments are an integral part of many company titles, thanks to which it earns hundreds of millions of dollars and it is no wonder that the company is ready to defend them also in court. Despite the fact that the practice is controversial (virtual objects are often completely random, and the “chance” to participate in the lottery can cost a lot), there is no promise that anything on the gaming market will change in the near future.
It is also possible that EA lawyers will have to submit relevant explanations also in Poland. Komputer Świat and Gamezilla received information about a report on Electronic Arts submitted, among others, to the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Service, regarding the violation of the Polish gambling law by the group.
The report was filed by Transtica law firm:
The report was made personally by Tom Rollauer. We have analyzed quite closely the package sales model offered by EA in Fifa and it is at least unclear in the light of the gambling law. Considering that most of the game’s consumers are children, it is highly unethical.
Tom Rollauer said that he had already talked with the legal department of the Ministry of Finance:
Initially they are surprised, but the legal foundations are solid.
In the notice, the full content of which you can read below, we read, for example, that the model of acquiring cards in the FIFA Ultimate Team mode in FIFA 19, and even advertising of this mode, violates the provisions of the Gambling Act.
We also read there:
From year to year, EA Sports puts more and more emphasis on investing real money in building teams at FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM. This year’s edition of the game is the best example. They give young people a model in which you can buy everything for money and at the same time the successes in the game are very poorly rewarded. All this is designed to increase the sales of Fifa points and purchase of random packages that have the characteristics of a lottery.
Interestingly, according to Tom Rollauer, EA unlawfully bans players’ accounts by preventing them from accessing the game and here too the company should explain its actions:
There is a gathering of large group of players who have been blocked by EA. The entire appeals process is contrary to EU and Polish law.