Class action lawsuits in different states have continued to come against Apple in recent weeks, with the plaintiffs claiming that the tech giant promotes and benefits from applications on its App Store that constitute illegal gambling under the laws of these states.
The most recent lawsuit of this type was filed last Friday in the Southern District of Ohio. Sean McCloskey, an Ohio resident, sued Apple in a class action lawsuit alleging that the company “promotes, enables and benefits” from gaming applications from its App Store that constitute illegal gambling under “statutory law and policy Ohio State Strong Public. “
Apple and Google hit with illegal gambling lawsuits in Alabama and Connecticut
Mr. McCloskey, on behalf of other state residents who downloaded the games in question from the App Store and played them, seeks to recover their money and that of other players spent on these games.
The recently filed lawsuit alleges that Apple allows consumers to download games that are “no more and no less than casino-style slot machines, casino-style table games, and other common gambling games.” These games are often referred to as free casino style games.
However, as noted in Mr. McCloskey’s lawsuit, once a player downloads and opens such a game from the App Store, they are offered a set amount of free ‘coins’ that allow you to play. A loss in the game results in a loss of coins and the player really doesn’t have that much chance of winning more coins.
When they finally run out of coins, they are encouraged to buy more coins for real money in order to continue playing.
In-app purchases violate Ohio gambling statute
Mr. McCloskey says that he downloaded and played several of the games since July 2019 and purchased coins through the App Store to continue playing. He argued that he had to pay Apple “For the privilege of continuing to play illegal gambling games.”
According to the claim, the plaintiff or any other player can’t collect real cash as a result of winning the casino-style games downloaded from the App Store, but “they have the ability to win and therefore buy more playing time.”
This scheme is prohibited by Ohio gambling statutes which state that “it is considered to pay a valuable consideration for the opportunity to win a prize ”when“ a participant can purchase additional tickets to the game using points or credits earned as prizes while using the electronic device. ”
The plaintiff also noted that the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the scheme constitutes an illegal practice.
Mr. McCloskey and his legal team argued that Apple is the “Main promoter and facilitator” from this illegal gambling activity because it controls downloadable applications and in-app purchases.
The plaintiff also noted that the tech giant and its App Store could geographically restrict games only to states where these are legal under local gambling laws as it geographically restricts real money casino games.
A similar lawsuit has recently been filed against Goolge and its Google Play store in New Mexico. Casino News Daily also reported similar complaints last week on Alabama and Connecticut.