Google Play Store Gambling Games Illegal in New Mexico Class Action

Google has an extensive Google Play Store that offers many kinds of apps for games, including gambling games. The complaint for this class action alleges that Google bears responsibility for the gambling games sold in its app store that are illegal under New Mexico’s gambling laws.

The class for this action is all those who live in New Mexico who downloaded, played, and paid money for additional coins in games from the Google Play 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 October 23, 2020 and a date that will be set by the court after the certification of the class.

Google has control of the Android operating system. It controls what games are offered to Android users and the terms for selling them. The complaint says, “Google has erected contractual and technological barriers that foreclose any competing methods to distribute apps to Android users. As a result, the Google Play Store maintains an almost-total monopoly on the distribution of apps made to run on the Android operating system.” Thirty percent of all earnings on apps and in-app purchases for games from the Google Play Store go to Google.

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.

All payments, whether for the original apps or for in-game purchases, are made to Google and processed by Google.

Plaintiff Erica Montoya downloaded three casino-style gambling games. In the six months before the filing of this complaint, she has paid $784.44 to Google for additional credits to continue playing these gambling games.

Montoya lives in New Mexico. New Mexico’s laws forbid this kind of gambling, the complaint alleges: “New Mexico’s Supreme Court has long held that the definition [of “anything of value” obtained via a gambling device] includes the opportunity to win free replays or the extension of time.”

Also prohibited, the complaint claims, are “participating in the earnings of a gambling place and setting up a gambling device.” Google does both these things, the complaint alleges, in taking a portion of the earnings from gambling games and in providing a platform on which the games operate.

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

According to the complaint, “Google enables, permits, promotes, and profits from illegal gambling.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Google Play Store Gambling Games Illegal in New Mexico Complaint

October 23, 2020

Google has an extensive Google Play Store that offers many kinds of apps for games, including gambling games. The complaint for this class action alleges that Google bears responsibility for the gambling games sold in its app store that are illegal under New Mexico’s gambling laws.

Google Play Store Gambling Games Illegal in New Mexico Complaint

Case Event History

Google Play Store Gambling Games Illegal in New Mexico Complaint

October 23, 2020

Google has an extensive Google Play Store that offers many kinds of apps for games, including gambling games. The complaint for this class action alleges that Google bears responsibility for the gambling games sold in its app store that are illegal under New Mexico’s gambling laws.

Google Play Store Gambling Games Illegal in New Mexico Complaint
Tags: Electronic Games, Entertainment, Gambling or Gambling Games