A Nevada resident has filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon.com, claiming its distribution of social casino apps, combined with processing payments for virtual chips, constitutes an “illegal internet gaming enterprise.”
The resident claims in the lawsuit that he became addicted to online slot games in the Amazon apps, alleging Amazon’s 30-plus casino apps constitute a “dangerous partnership” with virtual casinos to run illegal gambling.
The complaint cites a 2018 U.S. appellate court ruling that found “social casino” apps to be illegal under Washington state law, a decision that targeted online slots.
According to the complaint, Amazon and social casinos “have found a way to smuggle slot machines into the homes of consumers throughout the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.”
The lawsuit zeroed in on the millions made through the virtual chip payments, saying that “despite knowing that social casinos are illegal, Amazon continues to maintain a 30 percent financial interest in the upside by brokering the slot machine games, driving customers to them, and acting as the bank.”
Lawyers for the plaintiff estimated the class size to be “tens of thousands of consumers.” They are seeking damages and restitution, among other court orders.
According to Reuters, Amazon officials have not responded to requests for comment.
The lawsuit was filed by Chicago-founded firm Edelson, which has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in class-action settlements already in litigation over virtual casino apps.
Edelson’s Todd Logan, who leads the firm’s gambling practice, told Reuters this is the firm’s eighth lawsuit over social casino apps. “We look forward to trying this case to a jury of Amazon’s peers,” he said.
The lawsuit is similar to one currently pending appeal in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in which Apple, Meta and Google are challenging a California federal judge’s 2022 order that said they could be held liable for payment-processing the virtual chip payments that are part of social casino apps.