FIFA and Gambling: What’s the Connection?
The FIFA World Cup is a grand, highly anticipated sporting event followed by fans from every corner of the world. Every 4 years, this tournament takes place and pits 32 carefully selected, top world teams against each other. They compete for one of the greatest titles – ‘world champion’. The games are filled with surprise and excitement and attract millions of viewers worldwide. Today, FIFA is more than just a world cup – it’s also an opportunity to place wagers and possibly even win some money.
How are FIFA and Gambling Connected?
Fans of FIFA don’t settle with just watching the World Cup. They also see this as a chance to guess the outcomes of matches, the number of goals, the winning teams, and so on. And that’s not all. In addition to gambling on football matches, fans also play football-themed games at top casinos like Luxury Casino NZ. The opportunity to place bets and enjoy a game themed with their favorite game or teams makes gambling much more exciting, and the chance to win money just adds to that excitement.
Truth is, the world of football has long been intertwined with that of sports like football. From betting on matches to using loot boxes in video games like FIFA, players often do both. In this article, we’ll delve into this complex relationship, tell you about the impact of gambling and the ongoing debate on the topic.
Football Betting and Casino Gambling
The first and biggest connection between FIFA and gambling is sports and casino betting. It’s no secret that sports fans love to gamble on the games’ outcome or play games featuring sports themes. Gambling is a favored pastime of many, a way to entertain themselves and maybe even get a good payout in the process. Today, you can win a significant amount of money and get a fast payout at top-rated casinos. You can read about best online casino payouts to get more familiar with where the best gambling happens.
And it’s not just about playing football slots. Players often do football gambling on sportsbooks and with their bookies. There are billions of people betting on FIFA matches’ outcome in the world every fourth year when the championship is held. They keep track of their favorite teams over time, check statistics, make planned or lucky guesses, all of which makes the championship even more fun to watch.
While these forms of gambling in football exist for a very long time and are not at all uncommon, there’s one more form that’s widely discussed these days – loot boxes.
The Rise of Loot Boxes
In recent years, the gambling landscape has involved and now includes a new form – loot boxes. Many will debate that this is or isn’t a form of gambling. Some countries have already defined it as such, while others think it differs greatly from what we define as gambling.
FIFA is one of the most popular video games in the world. It is also one that embraced the trend and introduced microtransactions to its players. Today, Fifa Ultimate Team allows players to build their dream team by purchasing in-game packs with real currency. The contexts are randomized, which adds an unpredictability element, one very common with different forms of gambling.
So, what are loot boxes?
Loot boxes are items found within a computer game. You can access these through the gameplay or buy them with in-game virtual currencies (or with the money you use in everyday life). These are usually randomized, while some games might disclose the information about what is in the loot box.
Most of the games these days, especially those played on phones have some loot box elements. A survey of the top 100 grossing-games in the app stores of Android and iOS found that over 58% of games contain loot boxes.
The content of a loot box can vary greatly depending on what you play. In FIFA, this can range from players to equipment to ‘skins’ you can use to change the character’s appearance.
Since these are paid with actual money and there’s an added element of surprise, loot boxes are very controversial. People argue about whether purchasing loot boxes is the same as playing a ‘game of chance’. Some countries already identify them as risk. For instance, in 2016, the UK Gambling Commission stated that these pose a potential risk to children. Belgium and The Netherlands ruled that selling loot boxes (although only in certain circumstances) is considered a form of gambling under their legislation.
Even so, it’s not easy to characterize these as gambling. After all, you can make purchases while playing, but you can’t really win money or cash them out like you would in, for instance, casinos.
Truth is, there’s no fine line between loot boxes and gambling. Since loot boxes and in-game purchases are very popular and common these days, the interest in overseeing and managing these grows. There’s been a survey published in 2021 showing that 44% of respondents have paid money to access loot boxes. This goes to show that this new form is growing in popularity, and is already widely used today.
Still, while there are strong parallels between gambling and loot boxes like those found in FIFA, this connection is yet to be defined in the world. At this point, there’s no legal age to access loot boxes, and you cannot withdraw funds by playing the games like you would with actual, casino gambling and sports betting.
Even so, people are investing money in games like FIFA, so the connection is there. Experts express concerns about the positive negative impact on vulnerable individuals such as minors. They believe that this can develop addictive behaviors in young people and cause them to spend excessive amounts of money to play the video games.
The legal landscape surrounding loot boxes remains complex. There have been several lawsuits being filed against game developers. This includes Electronic Arts, the publisher of the FIFA game. The lawsuits accuse EA of promoting gambling through loot boxes. And while these lawsuits exist, courts so far rule in favor of the game developers based on the differences between real-world currency and virtual items.
The relationship between FIFA and gambling is stronger than ever. It starts with traditional forms of gambling, such as casino games and sports betting. It extends beyond this, though. Today, we also have mechanics like loot boxes frequently used by FIFA fans and video game players. As this debate continues, one thing is certain – we can all have fun gambling and following FIFA events as long as we do it in moderation.