Two men have been arrested and charged with promoting unlawful gambling in the United Kingdom. Dylan Rigby and Craig Douglas of Essex, England are being prosecuted by the UK Gambling Commission for violating the Gambling Act and for inviting underaged participation in betting activity. Both men individually owned and operated numerous sites related to FIFA Ultimate Team gambling and trading. They co-owned and promoted the FutGalaxy and Ultimate Coin Exchange sites. Rigby and Douglas are the first people being prosecuted by their government for illegal videogame gambling.
The recent CS:GO Lotto scandal involving Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cosmetic gun skin betting prompted Valve to issue cease and desist letters to gambling sites and has resulted in some civil suits, but no criminal charges have been filed yet. While the Attorneys General in the United States are aware of some of the videogame gambling complaints, they have thus far declined to prosecute.
That’s how you know an illicit activity is maturing, by the way. It’s when the law finally takes notice of it. Now that the scope of videogame gambling has grown sizable enough to attract the attention of the government, you can expect further legal action in the future.
If you follow soccer, (Europeans call it “footyballz”) you’ll be familiar with Alex Morgan, a forward on the Portland Thorns FC, and one of the star players on the US Women’s National Soccer Team in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Add another bullet on her resume. She’ll appear on the cover of Electronic Arts’ FIFA 16. She’ll share the coveted honor along with Lionel Messi. With EA spending so much time on getting their hair just right, it makes sense to have a female grace the cover of the long-running sports game.
Canadian soccer fans will have Christine Sinclair representing the Canada Women’s National Team on their copies of FIFA 16 instead. Australians will get Stephanie Catley on their boxes. The cover appearances of this trio will mark the first time females represent the FIFA videogame. FIFA 16 will launch on September 22nd.
FIFA 16 will feature the Women’s National teams. Players will be able to use the all-female teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the USA for the first time in the soccer game franchise. Electronic Arts spoke with IGN to let fans know that no effort was spared to bring female players into FIFA. New model rigging, animation, and fresh motion capture was used to translate the players’ on-field movements into their digital versions. All the important stuff was covered.
“We’ve even gone so far as to rejig the physics on our hair to make sure that the ponytails are more believable.”
FIFA 16 launches on September 22nd for PC, Playstation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Electronic Arts is taking steps to halt cheating and selling of in-game currency in FIFA. With FIFA 15 coming on September 23rd, EA Sports took a moment to remind players that cheating and violations of the terms of service in the FIFA Ultimate Team portion of the game will not be tolerated. Most of EA’s attention is focused on the people that use bots to farm for in-game coins to sell on outside websites. In fact, the FUT Web App was deactivated on May 9th due to the volume of bot farming.
Our data shows that these bots generate four times as many Transfer Market searches than all human FUT players combined.
Since February, the publisher has banned hundreds of thousands of FIFA 14 accounts for cheating, and they will step up their policing when FIFA 15 launches. Violators may find themselves on the receiving end of a FIFA online ban, with coin-sellers going straight to a “red card” and getting an account-wide online ban for all EA games.