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An Imperfect Storm Has Sports Betting Operators Watching The EA Class Action

Sports wagering operators—along with anyone interested in the status of mandatory consumer arbitration—have their eyes on a class action lawsuit filed by three video game players in November against Electronic Arts EA -0.2% in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Electronic Arts’ EA Sports division is the developer of popular sports video game franchises including the Madden NFL football, FIFA soccer, and NHL hockey games. The gamers filed their class action against EA alleging that the games are programmed to adjust the difficulty of games based upon individual gamers’ skill levels. By adjusting the skill level in this way, the gamers allege, they are caused to purchase more “loot boxes” called “Player Packs.” Player Packs allow gamers the chance to access superstar athletes, such as soccer star Lionel Messi, for use in the games’ “Ultimate Team” mode to improve their team. Electronic Arts has not yet responded to the lawsuit, and its initial response is expected on January 11.



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