Apple App Store Gambling Games Illegal in Ohio Class Action

The complaint for this class action asserts that Apple dominates the current market for mobile apps. It alleges that Apple bears responsibility for gambling machine games sold in Apple’s app store, which the complaint claims are illegal under Ohio’s gambling laws.

The class for this action is all those who live in Ohio who downloaded, played, and paid money for additional coins in games from the Apple App Store that featured slot machine play, roulette, blackjack, poker, keno, craps, or other casino-type gambling games, including bingo, or game simulations, where the player can win coins or other means of playing for additional time periods, between April 23, 2020 and a date that will be set by the court after the certification of the class.

Apple’s iOS operating system is a “closed” system that maintains control over what is offered to iOS users and what the terms are. the complaint says, “In order to sell apps in the App Store, developers must submit their programs to Apple, which then decides whether the app may be included in the App Store and thus downloaded to iOS devices.” Thirty percent of all earnings on apps and in-app purchases go to Apple.

Gambling games typically follow a pattern: They give users an initial amount of “coins” or other credits allowing them to play the app’s slot machines, blackjack, or other gambling games. When players lose, some of the coins are lost. When the players run out of coins, they are permitted to buy more for real money. Players cannot win money; they can only win more coins or credits to keep playing.

In addition, all payments, whether for the original apps or for in-game purchases, are made to Apple and processed by Apple.

Plaintiff Sean McCloskey downloaded several games. He has paid $64.90 to Apple for additional credits to continue playing.

McCloskey lives in Ohio. Ohio’s laws forbid this kind of gambling, the complaint alleges, quoting them as saying, “Valuable consideration is deemed to be paid for a chance to win a prize” when a “participant may purchase additional game entries by using points or credits won as prizes while using the electronic device.”

Also, findings of the Ohio Supreme Court, the complaint claims, say that “paying money in a game for a chance to win free replays or more playing time constitutes illegal gambling under Ohio law.”

The complaint alleges, “Apple is not some minor or incidental participant in these illegal gambling games. It is the principal promoter and facilitator of the illegal activity.”

In fact, the complaint claims, “Apple has the ability, which it has employed on other apps, to geo-restrict games so that they can only be played in certain states.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Apple App Store Gambling Games Illegal in Ohio Complaint

October 23, 2020

The complaint for this class action asserts that Apple dominates the current market for mobile apps. It alleges that Apple bears responsibility for gambling machine games sold in Apple’s app store, which the complaint claims are illegal under Ohio’s gambling laws.

Apple App Store Gambling Games Illegal in Ohio Complaint

Case Event History

Apple App Store Gambling Games Illegal in Ohio Complaint

October 23, 2020

The complaint for this class action asserts that Apple dominates the current market for mobile apps. It alleges that Apple bears responsibility for gambling machine games sold in Apple’s app store, which the complaint claims are illegal under Ohio’s gambling laws.

Apple App Store Gambling Games Illegal in Ohio Complaint
Tags: Electronic Games, Entertainment, Gambling or Gambling Games