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Apple sued for offering social gambling games

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Apple sued for offering social gambling games

Apple might not be a gambling company, but a new lawsuit alleges that they are involved enough in the business to face the same regulations. 

A class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Columbia alleges they should have to abide by the same laws as any online gambling operation, and pay for the damage they’ve done in states where that’s not legal.

They note that Apple “permits and facilitates illegal gambling by operating as an unlicensed casino.” Although the games offer no real reward, by allowing real-money purchases of coins or chips on games like poker or blackjack, they believe Apple and Zynga are offering a form of gambling.

The suit may have a point where it concerns Zynga. Although no money can be won from the games, winning of course extends playing time. By also allowing microtransactions for more chips, the game developer may be violating anti-gambling laws in as many as 25 states.

Apple has previously been on top of the legal liabilities that Zynga games might cause them in some jurisdictions. In August, 2019, “social gaming” apps like Zynga Poker were limited to accounts of those 17+ in “all countries and regions.” The effort was made specifically to make the App Store safe for children, who really shouldn’t be playing the latest 5-reel SpongeBob game.

Judging by a recent judge’s ruling, Apple might be in the clear here.

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