In the United States and Apple Incorporated has reportedly been hit with a class-action lawsuit over claims that the technology behemoth is profiting by allowing users of its devices and services to access free-play online casino-style games.
According to a report from the news domain at AppleInsider.com, the legal action was filed yesterday with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by lead plaintiff Keisha Lowe and names 25 states including Ohio, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts as co-complainants. The source detailed that the grievance is seeking an immediate injunction as well as some $5 million in damages, legal fees and restitution on charges of unjust enrichment and decrees relating to the recovery of gambling losses.
The lawsuit reportedly alleges that the free-play games offered by Apple Incorporated via its App Store service violate a number of state statutes related to gambling because they offer users the ability to make micro-transactions or in-app purchases for virtual currency or other forms of digital goods. The action also purportedly claims that these titles usually present aficionados with a limited number of chips to start but then prompt them ‘to use real money to purchase additional coins or chips for the chance to continue playing the game.’
Although devotees of these free-play casino-style games are unable to collect actual cash prizes, the plaintiffs reportedly contend that Apple Incorporated is nevertheless breaking anti-gambling laws in the 25 states because the titles permit devotees to pay money for the chance to win more playing time.
The class-action lawsuit reportedly furthermore asserts that Apple Incorporated is culpable because its App Store service profits from the sale, development and hosting of ‘Zynga Casino Apps,’ which are presumably free-play titles developed by San Francisco-headquartered Zynga Incorporated. The litigation purportedly finally asserts that the defendant is the sole administrator of a portal that ‘permits and facilitates illegal gambling by operating as an unlicensed casino’ because it allows users to purchase ‘chips’ or ‘coins’ for use in Las Vegas-style games such as poker, blackjack, keno, roulette and bingo.