Austria Acknowledges FIFA Cards as Form of Gambling

The Austrian court has ruled that FIFA Ultimate Team sets are a form of gambling, obliging Sony to return money to players. Several Austrian FIFA players filed a lawsuit claiming that they had lost more than €400 on a football simulator. Lawyer Ulrich Zalburg argued that the opportunity to spend money on FIFA sets violated Austrian gambling laws, and the court ordered Sony to pay €338.26 to players. Sony has not yet responded to the court decision.

The Law on Gambling is violated as the price of the contents of the Lutbox FIFA may differ from the cost of the set itself, offering the owner a potential financial benefit. Players can collect their Ultimate Team, acquiring objects representing real football players – modern and legends – by buying card packages that cost from £1.99 for an easy set to more than £30. The sets consist of objects of varying value, and their characters’ abilities are randomly determined, encouraging players to open more sets in the hope of obtaining desirable objects.

The use of Lutboxes in the game exploits children, according to a coalition of 15 child protection groups in 2022. The coalition claimed that it promised a competitive advantage and hid the real value of the objects. The likelihood of acquiring the best items is unclear, and obtaining the most desirable cards can cost thousands of dollars. Groups have demanded an investigation into this dishonorable and deceptive practice in the development of Lutboxes by EA.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.