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FIFA 19 Packs And Loot Boxes Are Not Gambling In The United Kingdom

The FIFA series has had quite a few problems lately in the United Kingdom which, has put it under investigation for Gambling. Focusing specifically on the microtransactions contained within the game. After the case study, the Gambling Commission and its director Brad Enright gave a positive opinion for FIFA 19.

The FIFA series can then continue with its style of microtransactions and rewards for players in the UK. The systems of packages and cash prizes, in fact, cannot be included in the gambling area since there is no official way to monetize the prizes received within them. The whole question revolves around the fact that the prize must be in cash or have a clear monetary value to be able to fall under the legislation relating to gambling in the United Kingdom. And this would not be the case with FIFA.

However, there are unauthorized third-party sites that buy and sell game content or allow it to be used as a virtual currency. Gaming Commission program director Brad Enright acknowledged the commitment of the publisher Electronic Arts who had to face “a constant battle against unauthorized secondary markets”.

Nevertheless, dozens of parents have told the BBC that their children are spending hundreds of pounds on game purchases. And have criticized the process as a form of gambling as there is obviously an element of luck in the result. Their children are then tempted to buy again to try to get what they want.

“The children emptied our bank account by playing Fifa. My son spent £3,160 in a game”, one angry parent said. Speaking to the Selection Committee of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Gambling Commission CEO Neil McCarthur admitted that there are “significant concerns about video games for children, especially in video games where there are elements of expenditure”. However, he added that “according to current legislation, this is not classified as gambling”.

And what do you think? Can microtransactions fit theoretically into gambling? Or do you agree with UK legislation?

1 COMMENT

  1. I believe that the summary of the decision a lot of places are going with ignore’s the tone of the comission’s statement when summarizing it.

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/digital-culture-media-and-sport-committee/immersive-and-addictive-technologies/oral/103954.html

    Things like the following show what I mean:

    “That is where we are with EA, but it is a watching brief. If we were unsatisfied that it was taking measures or we got lots of reports that there were lots of secondary markets and they were becoming more sustainable and more sophisticated, then obviously that view would change because it turns on that money’s worth definition.”

    And:

    “Most recently, in response to the Online Harms White Paper, we asked the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling to give us some advice on this, because it is gambling lite—I am not sure that the Committee has seen that; we are very happy to share that—where it expresses concerns about the need for actions around games that look and feel like gambling, even though not technically legally gambling at this point under the current legislation. Do you want to talk about trade bodies?”

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