- Legal States
Jerome García February 17, 2021 3 min read
Lawsuit Filed against Apple in California over F2P Gambling Apps
A lawsuit was filed against Apple in California on Tuesday. The class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Columbia over free-to-play casino-style apps.
A Class Action Lawsuit Filed against Apple in California
A class-action lawsuit was filed in California against the multinational technology company, Apple, over free-to-play (F2P) casino-style apps. Casino game developer Zynga developed the apps, from which Apple allegedly profited. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Columbia.
The lawsuit’s main issue with the F2P games is the micro-transactions and in-app purchases. The casino-style games that offered such functionality enabled players to exchange real money for digital tokens. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that such types of games violated laws in 25 U.S. states. In addition, the plaintiffs explained the laws which were allegedly broken in each of those states.
“Paying money in a game for a chance to win more playing time violates the anti-gambling laws of the twenty-five states that are at issue in this case,”reads the lawsuit
The lawsuit claims that those applications could not be downloaded by Apple consumers and Apple consumers would not be able to make such in-app purchases without Apple’s distribution of the apps via the App Store. Furthermore, the legal document claims that Apple provided marketing guidance, tools, and promotional offers which helped the discovery of such apps.
The Games Use Real Money Currency to Extend Playing Time
The casino-style games mentioned in the lawsuit offer F2P entertainment like poker, roulette, blackjack, bingo, and other popular gambling games. Upon downloading, players receive pre-loaded “tokens”, “coins”, or “chips” which they can use. Once the players run out of those, they can purchase more tokens via an in-app purchase.
“Ultimately, the consumer will run out of coins or chips and will be prompted to use real money to purchase additional coins or chips for the chance to continue playing the game,”reads the class action complaint
According to the lawsuit, one issue is that players need to use real currency to purchase additional tokens to extend their gameplay. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that although the consumers cannot “collect actual cash” from winning, they “do have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time“.
Similarly, in October, another lawsuit was filed against Apple in Connecticut. Back then, the plaintiff allegedly spent more than $3,000 on “gambling apps“. However, that was not the only case filed over free-to-play applications. Again, in October, lawsuits were filed against Google and Apple in Alabama. Back then, the plaintiffs claimed to have spent real currency to continue playing F2P “gambling apps“.