Class-Action Suits Pop Up In the US Against Google and Apple for Social Casino Gaming

If you own a smartphone, then you have most likely downloaded an app to play a game. You have probably downloaded several games and continue to do so on a regular basis. Some apps are free, and others cost money to download. Google and Apple make big bucks promoting apps and just recently, both companies have been named in several lawsuits that claim they are profiting from apps that promote illegal gambling. Social casino apps may be free but they have in-game charges and some players want to get their money back.

Lawsuits Filed

As mentioned, several players in multiple states have filed a lawsuit against both or one of the tech companies. The most recent suit was filed last week and involves a player in Ohio. Sean McCloskey is suing Apple claiming the company is promoting, enabling and profiting from game apps that are considered illegal gambling based on statutory law and public policy in Ohio.

The lawsuit was filedf or McCloskey and other residents in the state who downloaded a casino style app and it seeks to recover his money and other players money spent on the games. The suit claims that Apple allows people to download the games that are casino style slots, table games and other gambling games. These games are free to play, but players must have coins to gamble, which can cost money.

When the app is downloaded, coins are given for free. Once those coins are gone, players have to purchase more in order to keep playing. It is these purchases that McCloskey and others want to be repaid.

Illegal Gambling Games

McCloskey has played several games since July of last year and purchased coins via the Apple App Store to do so. He argues in the filing that it paid Apple to be given the privilege to keep playing illegal gambling games.

Players who take part in these games cannot earn cash when they win the casino games, like slots or table games. However, they can win and earn more playing time. This type of setup is prohibited based on gambling statutes on the books in Ohio.

The laws say that valuable consideration is considered to be paid for a chance to win a prize when a player has to purchase more game entries by using points or credits won via an electronic device. The suit also states that the Supreme Court in Ohio ruled the scheme is considered an illegal practice.

Others are fighting a similar battle in other states. In New Mexico, a lawsuit was brought against Google and its Play Store. There have also been suits filed in Alabama and Connecticut. Depending on the outcome of these suits, we may see even more filed if players feel they can be compensated for what many are calling illegal gambling. It will be interesting to see how the courts rule in these cases and if the games will continue to be offered or if Google and Apple will have to pay up.

Default image
Jackson
Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.