Canadian Judge Dismisses EA Loot Box Gambling Claim, But Suit Will Continue
A Canadian judge ruled that EA's loot boxes do not constitute illegal gambling, but they may fall under "deceptive practices."
A Canadian judge has dismissed a plaintiff's claim that the loot boxes in EA games are a form of illegal gambling. However, Judge Justice Fleming will allow the class-action suit to continue under the accusation that the loot boxes are a form of "deceptive acts or practices."
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, plaintiff Mark Sutherland accused Electronic Arts of engaging in gambling, which is illegal in British Columbia. However, Judge Justice Fleming ruled that loot boxes are not a form of gaming because they cannot be sold or exchanged for real-world value by a consumer. Based on this fact, the judge then struck that claim from the suit, ruling that it had no reasonable chance of success.
"Consequently, there is no prospect of gaining, or losing, anything with a real-world value through the defendants’ in-house auctions," the judge said. "Unlike a casino chip, virtual currency and virtual items in loot boxes can never be 'cashed out' to gain money."
The video game industry has used loot boxes as a common gameplay element for years, which has resulted in lawsuits and other legal action. Belgium and The Netherlands banned the practice outright in the early 2020s. However, EA has been largely successful in combating these legal claims, eventually winning a suit in The Netherlands that would have resulted in the company paying a $11 million fine to regulators.
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