EA Appealing Potential €5 Million Fine in the Netherlands for Selling FIFA Loot Boxes
Electronic Arts (EA) is appealing a potential €5 million fine in the Netherlands for its sale of FIFA Ultimate Team packs.
The Dutch government announced last month that it would be enforcing a fine against EA for its implementation of paid-for loot boxes in its most recent FIFA games.
EA will have to change the way its loot box-like items work in FIFA 19, 20, and 21, or every week the company will be fined €250,000, up to a maximum of €5 million.
EA Benelux issued a statement, noting its intent to appeal the fine. “We’re disappointed by today’s decision, and the possible impact of it on Dutch players. We do not agree that our products and services are in conflict with the local gambling laws. We do appeal against this decision and try to prevent a situation that impacts the full possibilities of Dutch players in FIFA Ultimate Team.”
“Electronic Arts attaches great importance to a positive playing experience: we strive to give all players choice, honesty, value, and pleasure in our games. We’re still open to take part in talks with the Netherlands Gambling Authority and other stakeholders to solve and understand their concerns.”
TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino launch instant payouts in the Netherlands with Trustly
TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino, a leading online gaming operator and part of Nederlandse Loterij, has launched the industry-leading instant payout solution offered by Trustly, the global leader in open banking payments.
By enabling instant withdrawals for its players, TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino will enhance user experience and drive player trust, preference and loyalty. According to research done by Trusty, 8 out of 10 players say that fast payouts are important when choosing an online gaming or betting provider.
TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino are owned by Nederlandse Loterij, the state-owned and largest gaming organization in the Netherlands. Nederlandse Loterij was one of the first operators to hold a Dutch online gaming license and provides nine game brands across multiple verticals, including TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino.
Trustly is the leading open banking payment provider for online gambling in the Netherlands and is the provider of choice for the majority of licensed operators in the market. Apart from its core instant deposit and payout products, the company recently introduced its revolutionary user onboarding product Pay N Play 2.0, which is set to go live with multiple operators in 2023. Trustly is also one of the official cPSPs offering iDEAL payments in the Netherlands, making the overall payment product offering of the company second to none in this competitive market.
Trustly’s VP of Gaming Vasilije Lekovic commented: “Trustly’s partnership with TOTO Sport and TOTO Casino is a testament to the product quality, reputation and reliability of Trustly in the Dutch online gambling market. Our unparalleled instant payout product, in combination with the rest of our open banking payment offering in the Netherlands, has established Trustly as the partner of choice for multiple operators in this market and we’re very excited that TOTO, one of the market leaders, has joined that group. We look forward to working closely with TOTO so we can help bring more value to the company and its users.”
Arjan Blok, CFO Nederlandse Loterij, commented: “We are pleased to introduce instant payouts for our customers via the Trustly platform. Players in the Netherlands are already used to instant payments in all their personal bank transfers and in their deposits for online gaming. It is no more than logical that this is now also possible for our payouts. This will enhance the experience for all of TOTO’s customers.”
Trustly’s best-in-class tech platform built on Open Banking capabilities connects the world’s top brands with consumers who can pay directly from their bank accounts. Founded in Stockholm in 2008, Trustly is an innovator within Open Banking, establishing instant deposits and withdrawals before the concept was widely understood and advising the EU Commission on the landmark regulatory framework PSD2.
The Slovak Gambling Authority’s systematic check activities help reduce the number of illegal gaming devices
In Q1 2023, the Slovak Gambling Authority conducted 2511 compliance checks, which is 201 more compared to last year.
The significant year-on-year increase in the number of checks is due to the restructuring of surveillance and the strategic set-up of the supervision by the Authority's top management.
"I am very pleased that the goals set up by the current management are also successfully fulfilled in the gambling supervision area. Of course, a big thank you to our local supervisors, who actively investigate illegal devices and supervise the fulfilment of all legal requirements by legal operators.
Having gambling under systematic supervision is one of the main missions of the Authority as a gambling regulator," said the Director General at the Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH), Dávid Lenčéš.
More than a 45 % increase against the same period last year was recorded in checks focused on the search of illegal gambling establishments. In the first quarter of 2023, supervisors conducted 437 compliance checks focusing on unlawful gambling as mining and quiz machines, intending to prevent further operation. As Director General said, “Increased systematic check activities of illegal establishments has its justification and brings results as, compared to 2022, the number of detected illegal gaming machines on the market is significantly reduced. Searching for illegal establishments and seizing illegal devices has a preventive nature and ultimately protects society, especially at-risk groups and the youth.”
According to the Gambling Act, small operators, such as pubs, can't operate gaming machines. The URHH must license each gaming machine since it is the only official body authorised to issue a license. Operating gambling without a given license is prohibited in Slovakia.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority also carries out surveillance remotely. In the Q1 of this year, we are talking about an almost 90 % increase in on-site checks compared with last year. Thanks to online access to the servers of gambling operators, this form of supervision allows more effective control of many establishments without physically leaving the workplace.
Establishing a specialised online gaming department in 2022 also contributed to the overall increase of supervision effectiveness over 2022-2023. The mission of the specialised department is to supervise licensed online gambling or searching for and restrict access to illegal websites operating or promoting gambling without valid licenses.
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