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Fiona Simmons January 19, 2024 3 min read
Roblox Claims It Did Not Facilitate Child Gambling Knowingly
The plaintiffs have failed to prove many of their claims, Roblox says
Roblox recently found itself in hot water as the gaming company got accused of facilitating child gambling. However, the company is currently opposing these claims and seeking to dismiss the class action lawsuit.
For reference, disgruntled parents have pointed out that Roblox’s in-game currency, Robux, can be used on certain third-party casino websites. The game thus exposes young players to gambling content, parents argue.
According to Rachel Colvin and Danielle Sass, who launched the lawsuit last year, their children have used Robux to gamble, causing them to lose money. Since Roblox charges a 30% fee when gambling websites convert funds into dollars, the plaintiffs accused the company of profiteering from child gambling.
US District Judge Vince Chhabria agreed that Roblox seems to be wittingly exchanging cash for Robux with third-party casino companies, although he said that the complaint is vague on how often children actually engage in gambling. While Chhabria agreed that Roblox might be knowingly exploiting the situation, he said that further evidence would be needed to involve Roblox in a RICO enterprise claim.
Roblox Says That It Cannot Control Independent Developers
Roblox’s attorney, Tiana Demas, addressed the RICO matter, saying that the plaintiffs have failed to prove many of their claims, including the fact that Roblox is aware of the aforementioned gambling transactions.
However, Chhabria noted that the casino websites’ names are RBX Flip, Box Flip and RBLX Wild, sparking doubts that Roblox is unaware of them. Demas confirmed that Roblox knows of these sites, to which the judge replied that the company must also be aware of what transpires on said websites.
Despite that, Demas argued that the three sites are no different than other developers working with the company. She pointed out that Roblox does not control independent developers and that the company’s actions have been consistent with its usual business conduct.
Demas also argued that the loss of something through Roblox does not necessarily constitute an Unfair Competition Law violation, although Chhabria claimed otherwise, saying that the defendant is liable because it took something of value.
Chhabria also insisted that the lawsuit must focus on the age of the customers who lost money to Robux gambling, reminding everyone that they are too young to be making such a decision. He added that he is inclined to let the negligence claim proceed because he thinks that Roblox should be held accountable for the losses children suffered.
Chhabria argued that the company should be able to prevent such cases, which it is not currently doing. However, he also conceded that the plaintiffs do not fully meet the requirement to argue about that.
A ruling should be issued very soon.