April 20, 2021 3 min read


Facebook Becomes the Latest to Be Sued over Social Casinos

Facebook is an illegal gaming operator. That’s the assertion of three individuals who have joined forces to sue the social media giant. They argue that the platform, by allowing social casino advertising and apps, is actively – and illegally – involved in the gambling industry and want accountability. This isn’t the first time that the legality of social gaming has been raised and it certainly won’t be the last. Google and Apple have both come under fire for the same reason.

Facebook Not Playing By The Rules

According to the lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California last Friday, Facebook is participating in an “illegal internet gambling enterprise” by allowing social casinos through its website and app. The plaintiffs point out that, of the top 12 grossing apps available through Facebook, nine are social casinos that offer virtual slot machines and other types of gambling. They argue that Facebook earns 30% commission on all paid wagers made through the apps and that it operates as a payments platform for the social casinos.

Facebook, Google and Apple are “smuggling” slot machines onto consumers’ devices, according to the suit, and are in violation of gambling laws in several states. Because the platforms “retain full control over allowing social casinos into their stores, and their distribution and promotion therein,” they are fully responsible for the activity and, as such, are as guilty as the app providers. The plaintiffs, represented by the Edelson PC law firm, which has “taken on some of the biggest companies and law firms in the world and has had success where others have not.”

The Lawsuit Stands On Questionable Grounds

The lawsuit accuses Facebook of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law. The debate over the status of social casinos has lingered for years and there has yet to be clear guidance on their existence. The majority of these social casinos allow users to purchase virtual money to play, even though they can never cash out any winnings. However, in almost all circumstances, it is possible to play and win the virtual money, which can be used for additional play, without having to make an investment.

Because no investment is obligatory, the onus then falls on the individual and his or her prerogative to proceed. According to Thomson Reuters Practical Law, “To be legal under current state law, social gaming must therefore not require consideration [an investment], be a game of skill, or not offer a prize. Many game developers and operators offer social gaming in the state of California either as games of skill or free of charge.”

In the Facebook lawsuit, the plaintiffs admit to having spent money to play, despite no obligation to make a monetary deposit. One of the plaintiffs emphasizes a particular app available through Facebook that she spent five years playing and that app has a number of options available to earn free play without an investment. It will be difficult to find support under the argument that Facebook has violated the RICO act since there is no obligation to play the app or make an investment, but the plaintiffs are hopeful, anyway. They’re asking for “declaratory judgment in their favor; to enjoin Facebook from further illicit conduct; restitution; disgorgement; an award for damages, costs, and fees; an injunction; and other relief.”


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.


  • Victoria Shipley
    June 20, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Facebook has scams with this Orion Stars these people took my money an did not do as they advertise I need help

    • M
      July 16, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      Same issue as Victoria Shipley. I have screenshots from Facebook chat. If this is not legal, why is it allowed on Facebook.

    • LaKenya Bennett
      November 22, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Orion Stars took over $2000 from me..I have reported the scam to CashApp. Hoping to retrieve my money

    • Ami
      February 5, 2022 at 9:34 pm

      Did they take it or did you lose it?

    • Christy
      May 11, 2022 at 10:44 pm

      Not only them but XGame too I also have screenshots

    • Cheri
      June 15, 2022 at 10:51 am

      Did you have any luck with orion stars? They have my 1600 and wont pay me

    • Christopher Brady
      May 8, 2023 at 11:25 am

      Did you get help? The same thing has happened to me but on a Google play game through Facebook. Help!

  • Kitty lou
    August 26, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    I had someone on facebook take money from me to play the golden dragon game and it was never put on my account.

    • Jay
      July 27, 2023 at 11:32 am

      I just had a person take all my winnings off the game and not send it to me basically stole my winnings and now I’m out in that plus the money I sent them! I’m not against gambling or playing online gaming platforms it’s when you’re being scammed out of money that you put into it and then expecting to get what you actually want off of it and not receive a single thing there was another agent that took hundreds and hundreds of dollars for me cuz I was on a good losing streak and then I finally hit some type of luck and refuse to pay me on that too! That one was on Orion Stars the one that just happened to me today was off an agent from that had ultra panda

  • Sandy ge hernandez
    November 24, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    OrionStars under the name Bella Roe she takes money only i winning and she not pay me $1400 she only refun my money back and the winning she was not that lie by taking money from people she block me from Facebook and the game trying to get my money Back

  • Sonia Burnett
    February 8, 2022 at 6:21 am

    My husband is now addicted to rhes inline gambling games and now i have lost everything. It’s not rite and i want to no how to sue facebook

    • Sonia
      February 8, 2022 at 6:24 am

      I have 2 children and now have no home to live in no car no nothing and all because of Facebook gambling they need to put a stop to it and I’m needing information on how to sue ther ass and give my kids back ther life

  • Lakenya Davis
    July 19, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    How can I get legal action against Facebook for this bingo game and other games that are illegal because it tore up my family

  • Deborah Cottrell
    August 6, 2022 at 2:15 am

    I too have found it entirely too easy to give all of my money to these online Facebook groups that offer online casinos you give them money to load onto Golden Dragon I connect or River Dragon I have lost everything and even gambled away Everything there’s just no fair practices I believe I think each admin can control how much you win and don’t win and don’t play fair I think they have their favorites and that’s who they give the money to and most of it is Kept for them selves they brag on it They brag ongoing from nothing to something in a short period of time well all in all they are doing nothing but taking peoples money!

  • Michael J Martin
    October 27, 2022 at 3:24 am

    Yes I have screenshots of everything, even a screenshot saying my account that had 5000 dollars on it had been suspended

  • Lawrence Munford
    October 29, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    I want to know how to sue, I feel like it’s gotten me addicted to gambling and I’ve played games that are straight up gambling slots and they have you deposit to cash app and they cheat, they’ll tell you to deposit and then just ignore you and take your money. I want all my money back because operating like that I’m sure the games are probably rigged also and it’s dead wrong for fb to participate promote and profit from this

  • Pamela Mitchell
    December 22, 2022 at 1:14 am

    I am sitting here wondering how’s it all possible for Facebook to support and allow these types of schemes and scams to go on online on their website? I played an made deposits to the Ultra Panda verified casino and won over 8 thousand USD. And they don’t want to pay me. I sent them a message on messenger online they responded even sent me a cashapp person to make deposits to which I did. When they first responded they sent me a account which they created they asked my name and then made a account so when I asked redeem information they blocked me but before they blocked me I put the money my winnings into my safe on the game is there anyway anyone can help me with this please and thank you I screenshot everything even the cashapp the web receipt an all messages from them to me Everything plz help

  • Brittany Harris
    May 12, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve had someone take $620 from me when I can see if Facebook I’ve also had a guy take $40 for me just tonight online Facebook casino and multiple more take from me on Facebook casinos Facebook is allowing it cuz they are not giving the option to do something about it so…..

  • T. Michelle
    July 30, 2023 at 7:52 pm

    This seems to have been going on for several years these people are making account after account and stealing peoples money and having no consequences about it. This girl under Elsa sweeps she plays all sweet and urges you to play and post this and that to get free play. Then you want to add your money through cash app once you win they don’t pay out. Yet there’s nothing that anybody wants to do these people are stealing from u s citizens but yet we can’t track them. Something needs to be done and Facebook is allowing these people to utilize their platform for illegal activities. It’s wrong on so many levels. They laugh and play head games knowing we can’t do anything. It’s insane. Now they are buying different cash apps so they can’t be traced and most likely laundering money all the while we are having to sit back and watch. Report your cards stolen and recoup your funds and report them every chance you get.

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