A lawsuit filed against the operator of one of the world’s top-grossing freemium apps has been shot down in a Chicago court, after the presiding judge ruled that the company’s in-game casino did not violate state gambling laws.
[dropcap]C[/dropcap]iting the Illinois Loss Recovery Act (along with other consumer fraud legislation), plaintiff Mihajlo Ristic was seeking up to $500 (E445) in losses from Machine Zone, the video game studio behind 2013’s smash-hit MMO strategy title Game of War: Fire Age. The game includes a free roulette-wheel feature providing players limited access to a certain number of upgrades. Players are also allowed to purchase additional “bonus spins” via an in-game virtual currency.
Ristic argued that each bonus spin could be given a real-world value (of approximately 60 cents), and that as such the developer was in breach of both the state’s current gambling legislation and its fair-trading laws.
But judge Robert M. Dow Jr. was convinced by the arguments of Machine Zone’s motion-to-dismiss: which claimed that the company was never a “winner” of any wagered legitimate tender.
Whilst the alleged wagering platform in this specific case was a video game, the judge’s ruling may serve to bolster the plight of online poker in the United States. Citing the opinion of a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding Amaya Group Holdings, Judge Dow seemed to ascent to the idea that sites such as Pokerstars also failed to meet the forbade criteria of gambling “winners”, as they “have no stake in the outcome of the games played on the site.”