Apple is being sued (again) in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the tech giant is promoting illegal gambling on the App Store. The lawsuit filed in California claims that Apple profits from promoting illegal gambling apps.
In the class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs – Joshua McDonald and Michael Helsel – target the apps developed by DoubleU Games Co. The plaintiffs allege that the casino apps developed by the said company violate anti-gambling laws of at least 25 states, including California.
The plaintiffs also allege that Apple is operating as an “unlicensed casino” by permitting and promoting illegal gaming on its App Store. The casino game apps in question allow users to use in-game currency instead of actual money.
According to the lawsuit, these casino apps allow users to purchase additional coins or tokens using actual money.
WHAT DOES APPLE HAVE TO DO WITH ILLEGAL GAMBLING?
A court will have to decide whether paying real money in a casino app for more playing time is illegal under the anti-gambling laws of at least 25 states.
The plaintiffs also cited research indicating that the vast majority of the revenue that comes from casino apps is made from a “specifically targeted” small number of users who spend large amounts of actual money.
The class-action lawsuit claims that Apple “actively” promotes, permits, and profits from those illegal gambling apps. The plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages and asking the court for an injunction prohibiting the tech giant from promoting and benefitting from illegal gambling.
APPLE HAS BEEN SUED FOR ILLEGAL GAMBLING BEFORE
This is not the first time Apple is being sued for allegedly profiting from illegal gambling. Previous lawsuits have also claimed that Apple allows casino games that offer illegal gambling onto the App Store.
In fact, in 2018, Apple removed over 25,000 gambling apps that were deemed to fall foul of Chinese regulations. However, many of those real-money gambling apps found their way back onto the platform.
In 2019, Apple was in hot water after a large number of developers misused the company’s Enterprise Certificate program. Developers used a loophole in Apple’s Enterprise program to circumvent the App Store’s policies and bring illegal gambling and even porn apps.
Last year, a woman filed a lawsuit against Apple for enabling illegal gambling apps that caused her to lose thousands of dollars on in-game purchases. She kept purchasing in-game coins for a chance to win free coins that would allow her to play the game for a longer period of time.
Earlier this year, two more victims of gambling apps on the App Store sued Apple for profiting from illegal gambling after they lost more than $30,000 combined.
What do you think? Should gambling in an app or online game be prohibited just like gambling in a brick-and-mortar casino? Do you know anyone who spends a lot of money in online games?