Since Belgium’s Gaming Commission handed down a ruling that randomised loot boxes in games were illegal gambling the accused publishers have taken varying tacks in dealing with the situation. Blizzard turned off paid loot boxes outright in Belgium, while 2K followed suit for NBA 2K, but complained bitterly about it and had the gall to ask fans to petition the Belgian government to change their minds.
EA, however, seem to have seen too many heist films where they get away with it despite someone uttering the line “the house always wins.” They’re sticking it out with FIFA 18, FIFA 19 and others, while maintaining that FIFA Ultimate Team packs are equivalent to Panini stickers, despite now facing a criminal investigation by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office.
As reported by Nieuwsblad.be (via Google Translate), the difference according to the Gambling Commission’s Peter Naessens is that “Panini prints just as many stickers from every footballer. It is not a roulette between common and rare pictures.” They’re now waiting for the prosecutor’s office to push ahead with the case and put it before a judge, but it doesn’t seem like the commission is going to back down from this fight. Even if a judge rules in EA’s favour, Naessens says, “we will advocate revising the gambling law, so that we can tackle the loot boxes.”