Austrian Court Says FIFA Packs Are Gambling And Orders Sony to Issue Refunds

austrian court fifa ut

In August 2020, a lawsuit surfaced in an Austrian court that implicated Sony in an anti-gambling case. At the time, a 17-year-old Austrian gamer took up arms against Sony, employing a lawyer and alleging that Sony had allowed him to gamble on the PlayStation platform.

Around the same time, several similar lawsuits emerged, and ultimately, a year later it was argued that lootboxes – FIFA packs included – are illegal in Austria under The Austrian Gaming Act of 1989.

And now, the case has reached a head, with the Austrian court ruling that FIFA’s Ultimate Team packs are indeed illegal and that Sony must pay the price.

Breaking The Law, Breaking The Law

In 2021, when an Austrian youngster frittered away €300 on FIFA points to open FUT packs, he subsequently decided he’d been enticed into gambling on the popular game, and further determined that it was an illegal move on the part of the platform provider. This notion was backed up by a lawyer who was then hired to assist the then-17-year-old gamer, who had damning things to say.

He declared that:

… because video game loot boxes are created by the developers who offer them exclusively in the games, the prizes are in violation of fair commerce laws, as there cannot be any competition.

Ulrich Salburg, Austrian Lawyer

He also highlighted (along with the Austrian court) that lootboxes are illegal as ‘only the state-run Österreichische Lotterien GmbH and Casinos Austria AG can offer gambling’ in Austria itself. This is where the debate kicked off in earnest, and it’s where the earliest demands were made for Sony to refund ‘victimised’ gamers.

Last October, an Austrian court went full bore into the lawsuit, deciding that Sony would bear the brunt of the desired punishment as although FIFA’s developer is Electronic Arts, the ‘purchase contracts in the PlayStation store were concluded with Sony’.

Case Closed for the Austrian Court?

According to a note obtained by, it was suggested that one case described in the spate of lawsuits that cropped up in the Austrian court bore the claim that ‘up to €85,000’ had been gambled on FIFA FUT points.

However, research has suggested that only the original claimant, the then-17-year-old individual, will receive a refund from Sony, at a grand total of around €338.26 – which the tech titan should be able to afford.

Not only that, but one platform reported that the Austrian court has also demanded that all FIFA packs are to be regulated ‘as a game of chance’, which means that EA may need to secure a gambling license in order to offer FUT in Austria.

This is the latest in a long line of debates concerning lootboxes, though. Recently, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom ruled that lootboxes aren’t classed as gambling – but that isn’t enough for some nations. In some places, great measures are being taken to prohibit transactions taking place that involved such mechanics.

It isn’t all plain sailing, though. Belgium famously issued a ban on lootboxes several years ago, but studies have shown that the nation’s lawmakers aren’t upholding that prohibition.

For now, FIFA’s Ultimate Team platform will continue to stay alive and basically remain the backbone of the multiplayer-focused side of the game. There are developments, though – this month, the NWSL is scheduled to make an appearance in FIFA 23.

Do you think lootboxes are an ongoing and complex issue, or should they simply be left alone?

For more Insider Gaming news, check out our coverage of Counter-Strike 2, which coincidentally is part of a franchise that lives and breathes lootboxes.

  1. He didn’t pack anything good so he’s complaining about it? How about this…DONT BUY THEM NEXT TIME!!! Jesus christ! When some idiot messes up and blows their money like a moron they go and blame everyone but themselves. Stop being a bitch and grow the fuck up

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