Gaming Tribe Sues Scientific Games Over Shuffler ‘Monopoly’

The Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma has initiated a class-action lawsuit against Scientific Games and its predecessor companies over its “monopoly” on automatic shufflers.

Gaming Tribe Sues Scientific Games Over Shuffler ‘Monopoly’

The Tonkawa Tribe of Indians, which operates three casinos in Oklahoma, has initiated a potential class-action lawsuit against gaming supplier Scientific Games Corp. and two of its predecessor companies, Bally Technologies, Inc. and Bally Gaming, Inc., alleging that SG has used its litigation war chest to maintain a 100 percent monopoly on the global market for automatic card-shufflers, in violation of antitrust laws.

The tribe alleges that SG and its predecessors forced competitors of legacy company Shuffle Master, Inc. out of the market through a “lengthy pattern of predatory, vexatious patent litigation” that has “effectively raised a substantial artificial barrier to entry for all potential competitors as well as excluded competitors.”

The lawsuit claims that no company has been able to compete with SG and predecessor companies “without a multi-million dollar war chest and a business plan that includes millions in upfront litigation costs as part of its anticipated start-up expense.”

Speaking for casino operators, the tribe says the supplier’s practices have allowed it to charge “well above competitive levels” for shuffling equipment while denying customers any competitive choice.

The Tonkawa Tribe filed its suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in Law Vegas on Sept. 3, 2020. (Tonkawa Tribe v. Scientific Games, et al., No. 2:20-cv-01637-JCM-BNW, D. Nevada).