Apple and Google were affected by a series of lawsuits in Alabama and Connecticut, with the plaintiffs claiming that the two tech giants have been promoting and profiting from games in their app stores that constitute illegal gambling under the statutes of the two states.
In Alabama, two federal lawsuits were filed last Wednesday, seeking refunds for two state residents who purchased games on the App Store and Google Play that the plaintiffs claim constitute illegal gambling under state law.
The plaintiffs bought the game apps and then paid additional money to continue playing. The two lawsuits specifically refer to casino style games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker, as well as keno, bingo, and other games that are frequently associated with gambling.
When the plaintiffs bought the games, they were offered a certain amount of free coins to play. But every time they lost the game, they also lost coins. While players can earn more coins, they are also required to purchase real money coins to continue playing.
The two lawsuits list at least 200 games available in the Apple and Google app stores that offer a casino-like experience and urge players to purchase coins / tokens to continue playing.
Something of value
The two lawsuits cite Alabama gambling law, according to which paying money at a game in an attempt to secure more playing time constitutes an illegal game.
The plaintiffs also argue that Alabama’s legal definition of “something of value” refers not only to games in which someone bets money in the hope of winning more money and this definition also includes “the extension of a service, entertainment or the privilege of playing in a game or plan without charge.”
In other words, paying money to buy coins “to get the ‘privilege of playing a free game or plan’ is bet a thing of value “ under Alabama gambling statutes, the two federal lawsuits affirm.
One of the lawsuits also holds that both Apple and Google can and should geographically restrict who can access the games so that they are only played in territories where that type of game is legal.
Connecticut woman sues Apple
A Connecticut woman filed a similar lawsuit Thursday. Karen Workman, the plaintiff in that separate case, says that spent more than $ 3,300 to buy in-game coins in an app called Jackpot Mania that you downloaded from the Apple App Store in 2017.
The lawsuit that was filed in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut alleges that free games on the App Store that offer in-game currency – that is, coins that players buy with real money to continue playing, constitute illegal gambling.
The suit further claims that by offering such game applications, Apple “promotes, enables and benefits” from illegal gaming products.
Connecticut’s lawsuit seeks class status and asks defendants to reimburse “All money paid through the illegal gambling described in this document, “cover attorney’s fees and reward Ms. Workman for her” services in this case on behalf of the class. “
The recently filed lawsuit contends that gambling currency applications continue to constitute games of chance because customers “have the ability to win and therefore buy more time.” He adds that credits that are recorded and allow players to extend the game are a thing of value and therefore violate Connecticut gambling law.