A recent proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that Amazon.com Inc. engaged in an “unlawful internet gambling operation” by distributing casino-style applications and handling payments for virtual chips.
Filed last Friday by a Nevada resident who claims to be addicted to illicit online slot games, the lawsuit accuses Amazon of collaborating with virtual casinos in a “perilous partnership” to offer over 30 unlawful casino apps to customers.
The legal action references a 2018 decision by a U.S. appeals court, which under Washington state gambling law, deemed “social casino” apps illegal. This case, initiated in a Washington federal court, joins a series of lawsuits focusing on online slot machines and similar games.
The lawsuit charges that Amazon and social casinos have effectively introduced slot machines into American homes, accessible anytime throughout the year. As of Monday, an Amazon spokesperson had not yet responded to a request for comment on the matter.
The case was filed by Edelson, a law firm based in Chicago, known for securing substantial settlements in class-action lawsuits related to virtual casino apps. Todd Logan, who heads Edelson’s gambling practice, noted that this lawsuit marks the firm’s eighth against social casino applications. Logan expressed eagerness to bring the case before a jury.
Although the games in question are free to play and do not offer real cash payouts, players can win virtual chips and must purchase more to continue playing.
The lawsuit criticizes Amazon for continuing to engage in the illegal social casino market, alleging the company retains a 30% financial stake by promoting and facilitating these slot machine games.
The plaintiff’s lawyers estimate the class size to include tens of thousands of consumers and are seeking damages, restitution, and additional court orders.
This legal challenge emerges amid ongoing disputes involving Apple, Meta, and Google. These companies are contesting a 2022 ruling by a California federal judge that found them potentially accountable for processing virtual chip transactions in social casino apps. The appeals are currently pending in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco.