Whether or not loot boxes constitute gambling has been a fierce debate for years now, and legislations of different countries have taken different views on the issue. In what could be a significant development on that front, as reported by Games Wirtschaft, a small Austrian court in the district of Hermagor has ruled in its findings that FIFA’s Ultimate Team randomized packs do indeed violate the nation’s gambling laws.
The court found that with the contents of the packs being randomized and potentially being worth more or less than the monetary value for which they are purchased, they do indeed constitute gambling and potentially offer a financial benefit to those who could purchase them. As per the court’s judgment, Sony has been ordered to refund a value of €338.26 to the plaintiff of the case.
It is, of course, relevant to a single incident and pertains to a fairly small monetary value, though it could set an interest precedent going forward. EA and Sony have yet to make any official statements in response, but the former has previously dismissed claims that loot boxes constitute gambling.