New Social Casino Operators Targeted In Washington State
The free-to-play or social casino market has got a free pass from legislators ever since its inception. The idea of playing for virtual chips has been largely accepted as a legal form of entertainment and not gambling. That has all changed recently with what many consider an opportunist decision adopted by a court in the state of Washington.
In the much talked about ruling in Washington State the court declared social casino games of Big Fish Games to be illegal gambling. In terms of the ruling the state defined illegal gambling as risking “ something of value” on the outcome of a contest of chance of future event which is beyond the gambler’s control. According to the judge the virtual chips of Big Fish did represent something of value as they are the only means by which players could play on the website.
This ruling has now led to a flurry of claims against four other social casino giants including Playtika, DoubleDown Interactive, High 5 Games. According to GeekWire these companies are now been sued for violating Washington’s gambling laws.
The headaches and possible legal sanctions have already resulted in online poker giant PokerStars removing their free-to-play product for Washington State. This could also well have a knock on effect with other social casino companies who would opt to play it safe and avoid lengthy and expensive legal battles.