Game developers Grande Games, SpinX Games and Beijing Bole Technology agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve claims that they violated Washington law with gambling apps.
The settlement benefits Washington residents who played Cash Frenzy, Lotsa Slots, Jackpot World, Vegas Friends, Jackpot Mania, Jackpot Fever, DAFU, Cash Bash and Jackpot Crush before Jan. 31, 2022.
Gambling apps such as those included in the class allow consumers to play casino-like games including slots, poker, blackjack and more. However, these games may cause issues for those addicted to gambling. In 2020, NBC interviewed one couple that spent over $150,000 on gambling games in just two years.
Some consumers have taken legal action against casino games, arguing they violate state laws against gambling. In September 2020, a Washington player filed a class action lawsuit against Grande Games, alleging the company’s applications violate Washington gambling laws. The plaintiff later added SpinX Games and Beijing Bole Technology to his class action lawsuit.
According to the casino app class action lawsuit, these game developers knowingly created gambling games which encourage players to bet real money for the chance to win big. Although the games gamble using in-game currency, the applications allegedly allow players to spend real money to buy this currency.
The plaintiff in the case argues that these applications violate Washington laws that prohibit gambling. As such, the class action lawsuit contends players are eligible to recover their losses under Washington’s Recovery of Money Lost at Gambling Act.
The defendants haven’t admitted any wrongdoing but agreed to pay a total of $3.5 million to resolve these illegal gambling allegations.
Under the terms of the Grande Games, SpinX Games and Beijing Bole Technology settlement, class members can collect a cash payment based on the amount they spent on the gambling apps. Those who spent a higher dollar amount will be eligible for a higher proportional share of the settlement fund.
Payments may also vary depending on whether class members were covered by arbitration provisions on some of the defendants’ apps starting in 2021.
Class members may be able to check their payment estimates in the future using a pending payment estimation tool on the settlement website.
In addition to providing funds for cash payments, the defendants have agreed to address video game behavior disorders in their applications by providing self-service resources, implementing in-game mechanics to deter unnecessary spending, and providing voluntary self-exclusion from in-app purchases. These measures aim to stop excessive spending due to addictive behaviors.
The deadline for exclusion and objection is Oct. 17, 2022.
The final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2022.
In order to receive a cash payment from the Grande Games, SpinX Games and Beijing Bole Technology settlement, class members must submit a valid claim form by Jan. 2, 2023.