Apple and Google may be facing potential federal lawsuits over allegedly offering free-to-play (F2P) gambling applications available for Alabama residents. Furthermore, in Connecticut, over similar F2P games, a woman filed a lawsuit against Apple.
Despite being filed in different states, the lawsuits are similar as plaintiffs claim to have downloaded apps that are F2P such as blackjack, roulette, slots, poker, and bingo. Although the plaintiffs initially played with pre-loaded free “coins”, at some point they allegedly purchased “coins” with real currency so that they can continue playing the games.
A Lawsuit against Apple Filed in Connecticut
A lawsuit in Connecticut was filed against Apple in the US District Court on October 22. Plaintiff Karen Workman claims that in the six months before the lawsuit, she has spent some $3,312.19 by allegedly using various “gambling apps“. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the giant Apple “promotes, enables, and profits” from games that feature gambling-like activities and are available on the App Store. According to the legal claim by Ms. Workman, the hosting of “gambling apps” on the App Store is a violation of the gambling laws effective in Connecticut.
“Apple is not some minor or incidental participant in these illegal gambling games. It is the principal promoter and facilitator of illegal activity,”
reads the lawsuit by Karen Workman.
Ms. Workman seeks class-action status to the case. In other words, this would allow plaintiffs with similar claims to also join the lawsuit. Furthermore, the lady is asking Apple to refund the money which she lost by purchasing in-game currency to play the “gambling apps” allegedly downloaded from the App Store. Moreover, Ms. Workman seeks the covering of the attorneys’ fees as well as a reward for “her services in this case on behalf of the class.“
Two Lawsuits over Free-to-Play Games Filed in Alabama
Focusing on Alabama, there were two lawsuits filed by the same lawyer John E. Norris in the state’s Northern District Federal Court on October 21. Similar to the lawsuit in Connecticut, plaintiffs claim to have spent real currency to continue playing free-to-play “gambling apps“. Currently, gambling laws in Alabama prohibit any type of online gambling. In contrast, the two filed lawsuits pointed out 200 casino-like games allegedly available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Maria Valencia-Torres filed the lawsuit against Google, over claims for losing $165 while playing a game called Slotmania for six months. According to Teresa Larsen, the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against Apple, she claims to have spent more than $250 for six months while playing Goldfish Casino Slots and Jackpot Party.
According to the lawsuits by the two plaintiffs, games that feature playing with real money to extend playing time are illegal in the Yellowhammer State. Similar to the lawsuit in Connecticut, the two Alabama lawsuits are seeking class-action status. Furthermore, Ms. Valencia-Torres and Ms. Larsen seek a refund of the money “paid through the illegal gambling games” and compensation for raising the issues to the court.