Zynga agreed to a $12 million settlement to resolve claims it operated illegal gambling schemes through mobile slot games.
The settlement benefits individuals who played Hit It Rich!, Black Diamond Casino, Game of Thrones Slots, Wizard of Oz Slots and/or Willy Wonka Slots in the state of Washington before June 28, 2022.
Zynga is a game company that operates a number of popular mobile games such as FarmVille, Merge Dragons and Words with Friends. The company also provides several gambling-type games, such as Game of Thrones Slots.
According to Washington customers, Zynga’s slots and casino games violate state laws because they are actually illegal gambling apps.
When playing the casino apps, consumers are allegedly able to purchase in-game “chips” with real money. These chips are then used to gamble.
“Once players run out of their allotment of free chips, they cannot continue to play the game without buying more chips for real money,” the Zynga class action lawsuit explains.
Although consumers aren’t technically gambling with their direct funds, plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit claim the apps still count as illegal gambling because the chips constitute “things of value” under Washington law.
The illegal gambling apps allegedly caused significant financial harm to the plaintiffs and other consumers who were unknowingly sucked into an addictive game that wagered real money through in-game currency.
The Zynga class action lawsuit sought relief through Washington laws that allow consumers to recover money they lost to illegal gambling schemes.
Zynga hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing but agreed to pay $12 million to resolve these allegations.
Under the terms of the Zynga settlement, class members can collect a share of the net settlement fund. Payment amounts will vary depending on the total dollar amount they spent on in-game purchases. Those who spent more money on the games will receive a larger share of the settlement fund.
Payments will be distributed within 60 days of the final approval hearing or the resolution of any appeals. If the first round of checks results in a significant amount of uncashed checks, these funds may be used for a second distribution of payments. If leftover funds do not warrant a second distribution, residual money will be donated to the Legal Foundation of Washington.
The deadline for exclusion and objection is Oct. 25, 2022.
The final approval hearing for the Zynga settlement is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2022.
In order to receive settlement benefits, class members must submit a valid claim form by Oct. 25, 2022.