Apple faces class action lawsuit for breaching anti-gambling laws
Apple has been faced with a class action lawsuit in the USA concerning the allegations that the tech company has been breaching anti-gambling laws in 25 different states.
The lawsuit was filed by Joshua McDonald and Michael Helsel, both plaintiffs, in the US District Court Northern District of California located in the San Francisco division. The lawsuit claims that the company has been benefiting and generating profit from illegal gambling games which have been developed by DoubleU Games Co.
The petitioners are now looking for statutory damages and costs, and the execution of an injunction which will ban the tech giant from participating in the alleged illegal moves. It has also been asked to have a jury trial.
The lawsuit claims that Apple has been allowing and providing opportunities for illegal gambling as it operated a casino without a licence. It further went on to note that the usage of in-game currencies has been a large contributor. The lawsuit also states that once players download the DoubleU Casino Apps, they are offered free chips to start out with, and once they run out, the app asks players to spend real money to buy more chips or coins in order to keep on playing.
It further notes:
“Consumers do not have the ability to collect actual cash as a result of ‘winning’ games, but they do have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time”.
Hence, it has been proposed that spending real money in a game in order to keep playing breaches the anti-gambling laws of the twenty-five states included in this case.
The states include Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Tennessee, and others…
McDonald has also allegedly bought a coin for $4.99, and Helsel making five different purchases, which each amounted to $107.99. Both are now hoping to get back the money that they paid for the purchases on the app.
The lawsuit also mentions a study which claims that free-to-play casino gamers have similar qualities when it comes to sociodemographic ones (including education, employment and income) with other online gamblers. This means that the purchase of these virtual items is rendering the activity of free-to-play casino gaming a lot closer to gambling than need be.
Aside from claiming that people in the United States lost over $3.5 billion in free-to-play apps during 2019, the filing also stated:
“Since Apple is responsible, in part, for the creation or development of the DoubleU Casino Apps and provides the sole means by which DoubleU Casino Apps developers can offer distribute, and sell their DoubleU Casino Apps to Apple consumers (i.e., through the App Store), Apple functions as an information content provider for the subject DoubleU Casino Apps. Accordingly, Apple actively enables, permits, promotes, and profits from illegal gambling”.