Users of website Royal Games, owned by Candy Crush developer King, weren’t able to cash out their money for almost half a year. It is all due to a legal investigation by PayPal.

According to a new report by Eurogamer, Royal Games users faced the problem in January 2021 after PayPal started an investigation over how the company operates its business in specific countries. People suddenly couldn’t withdraw their funds from the website anymore.

Royal Games is a portal that allows playing browser versions of King’s games. After the company went mobile, the website has become far less popular. However, a few thousand people still play games on it daily. The list includes Candy Crush, Farm Witch, and Pepper Panic.

The main feature of Royal Games is the ability to spend cash to enter tournaments and win prizes and real money. Although King locked payments for new users in 2019, the core community continued to compete in online HTML5 games.

So it’s pretty obvious that these people got angry after the company suddenly withheld their money. King, however, still allowed users to send money to their accounts, with no further chance to withdraw it either via PayPal or via other services.

In April, Royal Games admitted that the problem had “proven more complicated than first anticipated.” A month after, the company also made a few changes in the tournament rules, increasing the “minimum number of players in paid Head-to Head tournaments from two players to three players.”

According to King, it had to do it to meet recent changes in the legal and regulatory environment for “skill gaming.” Skill-based games are online games where the outcome is determined by players’ physical or mental skills (and not a chance like in casino games). People usually can cash in their money to compete with other players in card games or using special platforms like Skillz and WorldWinner.

However, skill-based games are still illegal in some states. So, according to King, the changes in Royal Games tournaments should help resolve the issue with PayPal.

The withdrawal page became available again at the beginning of June. However, there are no reports from people who managed to successfully receive their money. “For those awaiting a withdrawal, we have updated them via our site that there will be a delay,” a King spokesperson told Eurogamer. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience and regret that we’re unable to offer an alternative process.”

The company didn’t comment on the outcome of PayPal’s investigation.

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