Big Fish Games the Target of More Lawsuits
March 6, 2019
When it comes to some states, you have a clear stance about online gambling. Nevada, for example, has become a state where anything goes. Meanwhile, you have Utah where you can't even play the lottery. It depends on the state. Washington state always had legislation in place that takes a strict stance with online gambling.
Difficulty with Online Gambling
Any form of gambling online has always sent the state of Washington into a severe panic—even the free-to-play games. In fact, at one point, they were the only state in the United States that made it a Class C Felony for someone to gamble online. Still, this remains a complex subject because Washington has 29 Native American tribes, and all of them offer some form of gambling at the casinos.
Big Fish Games Lawsuit
Known as one of the developers of online casino games, Big Fish bases themselves out of Seattle, Washington. They first launched in 2002, and this startup eventually expanded so much that they developed into the countries of Europe. Legal concerns about online gambling have always been a chief concern at Big Fish Games, and they have paid close attention to the legislature. A certain amount of backlash has been directed their way because they had offered players the option to buy credits in free-to-play games. Basically, you get a certain number of chips, and you can continue playing. However, once you lose your chips, you will have to wait a few hours or even a couple of days. The other option you have is to funnel real cash into it, and this is what was happening.
The Pending Lawsuit
One woman said that she spent over $1,000 on these chips, and she came back to sue Big Fish Games based on the current laws around Washington. While the courts threw out the original lawsuit in 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that these chips were indeed a form of monetary value, and this made the games illegal in Washington state.
The fact that a company broke the strict online gambling laws of Washington and illegally profited off these games is what has led to the lawsuit being successful. Another issue that they have taken with these games is the fact that they become addictive because they still use the same principles of a regular casino game. This could turn into an ugly legal battle in the future because Big Fish Games has said they will fight this.