Amazon Named in Consumer Class Action Lawsuit Involving Social Casino Apps

Amazon Facility on the Right and a Lawyer Handing Lawsuit Paperwork on the Left.

Amazon is currently under fire after being named in a lawsuit regarding illegal online gambling operations. The lawsuit was filed on November 10 in the US District Court in Washington. The filing alleges that Amazon earned billions from distributing illegal casino apps to patrons and processing virtual chip payments.

Details of the Lawsuit

A resident of Nevada initially filed the lawsuit and was identified as an addict when it came to illegal online slot games. The lawsuit claims that Amazon developed a dangerous partnership with virtual operators known as social casinos. Amazon reportedly offered social casino apps, and such gaming is illegal under Washington state laws.

The lawsuit centers on a gambling model known as free-to-play. The games are free, but users must purchase virtual chips if they want to continue playing once they run out of chips. Amazon reportedly keeps a 30% financial interest in such purchases and acts as an intermediary and bank for consumers.

Attorneys representing the plaintiff in this case state in the filing that Amazon aggressively markets and distributes the apps to customers on Amazon and Android, even though they are illegal. Edelson, a Chicago-based firm, is leading the charge against Amazon and says that the company’s actions affect tens of thousands of people.

Stop Social Gaming

The lawsuit demands that Amazon stop participating in social casino gaming and seeks to see the illegally gained funds returned to consumers. In the filing, a total of 34 social casinos have been named. Companies affected include:

  • Big Fish Casino

  • Black Diamond Casino

  • Quick Hit Slots

  • Jackpot Party

  • Jackpot Master

  • Monopoly Casino Games

The lawsuit says that social casinos are lucrative because they mix the addictive nature of traditional slots with the power of Amazon to leverage big data. The filing also says that social networks are used to identify, target, and exploit customers who have addictive behaviors for profit.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys say that the social casino apps would not be as successful without the help of Amazon. The ability of “targeting, retaining, and collecting losses from addicted gamblers is inextricably entwined with Amazon.”

Amazon has yet to respond to the case but should produce an official response in the future. This is not the first time a major company has faced a legal challenge connected to social gaming. Apple, Meta, and Google are all fighting similar legal challenges in San Francisco.

Social casinos do provide responsible gaming information for players to view within their rules or terms and conditions. Some sites offer time-outs and self-exclusion for players who may be suffering from gambling addiction.

Posted in: iGaming Regulatory & Industry