Woman sues Apple for hosting 'gambling apps' after spending thousands on in-game currency

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in General Discussion
Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that free-to-play games on the App Store that feature in-game currency constitute illegal gambling.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The lawsuit, lodged Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims that Apple "promotes, enables, and profits" from gambling games on the App Store.

For example, the plaintiff in the case, Karen Workman, says she downloaded an app called "Jackpot Mania" in 2017, and "began purchasing coins through the app so he/she could continue to play for a chance to win free coins that would enable him/her to enjoy the game(s) for a longer period of time."

In the six months before filing the suit, Workman spent $3,312.19 on in-game coins, the lawsuit adds.

Although gambling apps are banned on the App Store, the complaint argues that apps with in-game currency still fall under the "gambling" category because users "have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time."

Furthermore, it argues that credits which are "recorded and allow one to extend play" are a thing of value. "The apps at issue record credits and allow the player to save them up and play later," the complaint reads, before accusing the App Store of hosting apps that violate Connecticut's gambling statutes.

"Apple is not some minor or incidental participant in these illegal gambling games. It is the principal promoter and facilitator of the illegal activity. Apple maintains dictatorial control over what apps can be downloaded from the App Store, and the payment method to purchase in-app items," the complaint reads.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class status, also asks for a refund of "all money paid through the illegal gambling games described herein," attorneys' fees; and an award for the plaintiff for "his/her services in this case on behalf of the class."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    Joe PiervincentiJoe Piervincenti Posts: 26unconfirmed, member
    Man, love how it becomes their fault that puppy can’t control your own spending.. people are ridiculous!
    twokatmewterun78peterhartmacxpressdewmejdb8167goofy1958psliceviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 44
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,864member
    I guess whe wanted to throw the dice one more time. 
    pujones1mobirdagilealtitudedewmejdb8167pscooter63pslicewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 44
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,393member
    Might cause a few changes to IAP rules that would hammer a lot of poor quality business models make game makers look for game play reasons for people to pay them money.


    cy_starkmanmikeybabeswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 44
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    This is the problem with this country more and more people no longer want take responsibility for their own actions and want to blame others and some lawyer agreed to take this person case.
    macxpressequality7252180s_Apple_Guygoofy1958lkrupppsliceinTIMidatorbloodshotrollin'redwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 44
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,642member
    China has a huge list of banned apps for the App Store in China and Apple complies with China without complaint. I presume Apple would not complain if US governments banned certain kinds of apps in the US. More realistically, a limit of ten times the original product price seems like a good limit to me for in app purchases. Any app which exceeds a factor of ten probably isn't "an app" but more like "a service." Maybe Apple should stop calling them apps and start calling them "interactive services." I think Apple could do this on its own rather than let governments set rules for their App Store.

    I bought at least one app on the Mac App Store. I can't remember the price but it was likely around $70 and I see some expansion packs which seem to add up to $250. To me that seems expensive so I ignore the expansions. But at least $250 is in the same approximate ballpark as the original purchase, not 10 or 100 times the original price.

    bloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 6 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    This is a perfect example of the lack of intelligence, and the over-abundance of sheer stupidity going on in our country.  This woman should be ashamed of herself.  When the case gets dismissed, I hope the ambulance-chasing lawyer gets disbarred for wasting everyone's time.

    I swear.. there was a time we taught our kids to accept responsibility for their actions.  Since then, adults have decided that anything bad that happens in their life is only the fault of someone else.

    I hope this woman and lawyer get canceled in social media.  If I were her employer, I'd be embarrassed to have her as an employee.
    mwhitemike1qwerty5280s_Apple_Guygoofy1958pscooter63pslicekuduviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 44
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,920member
    People play online gambling like sports betting. What about it ?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 44
    wood1208 said:
    People play online gambling like sports betting. What about it ?
    That's illegal outside a few states.


    Anyway, to get back to the original article... while I don't think what she's doing falls under the gambling laws, I really wouldn't mind if crap like that gets banned.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 44
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 136member
    While I have no problem seeing that gambling as such is a real problem - and is scientifically designed to exploit our weaknesses and get us to part with (a lot of) money through a variety of mechanisms - there are parts of the argument that sounds very strange:

    Furthermore, it argues that credits which are "recorded and allow one to extend play" are a thing of value.'

    Paying for being allowed to play more would be a general mechanism that does not equal gambling in my book: Classic flipper machines and arcade machines are categories where this has always been the case.

    NotoriousDEVwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 44
    xyzzy01 said:
    While I have no problem seeing that gambling as such is a real problem - and is scientifically designed to exploit our weaknesses and get us to part with (a lot of) money through a variety of mechanisms - there are parts of the argument that sounds very strange:

    Furthermore, it argues that credits which are "recorded and allow one to extend play" are a thing of value.'

    Paying for being allowed to play more would be a general mechanism that does not equal gambling in my book: Classic flipper machines and arcade machines are categories where this has always been the case.

    Change gambling to social media and you have a perfect description of something that is desiggned to be addictive.

    While I have no problem seeing that gambling Social Media such is a real problem - and is scientifically designed to exploit our weaknesses

    A sign of the times I guess



    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Man, love how it becomes their fault that puppy can’t control your own spending.. people are ridiculous!
    Exactly, stupid people not just giving up heroin, tobacco, alcohol, opioids, gambling, sugar… Don't they know that there's nothing in our brains that is highly sensitive to certain "rewards", and as such there's no such thing as an addiction, just lazy people…? (That's what you mean by calling people "ridiculous"?)
    StrangeDayscrowley
  • Reply 12 of 44
    The plaintiff doesn’t know if they’re a he or a she?

    "...began purchasing coins through the app so he/she could continue to play for a chance to win...”
    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Her name is Karen. Enough said. 
    NotoriousDEVwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    The plaintiff doesn’t know if they’re a he or a she?

    "...began purchasing coins through the app so he/she could continue to play for a chance to win...”
    Yes that is weird.

    With a name like Karen Workman then I'd be leaning more towards the plaintiff being female.
    qwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Although gambling apps are banned on the App Store, the complaint argues that apps with in-game currency still fall under the "gambling" category because users "have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time."


    That doesn't really sound like gambling to me.

    If I bought the in-game currency and then I was offered a coin-flip to determine if I received them or not, then that would be gambling.

    If you bought the tokens, played the game, then bought more, then you weren't gambling, you were wasting your money playing games.

    equality72521qwerty52pscooter63muthuk_vanalingamkuduwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 44
    applguyapplguy Posts: 235member
    Bet she wouldn’t have sued if she had won. 
    jcs2305tokyojimukuduwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 44
    How ridiculous the people can be!
    I'm going then to sue Apple because the devices they make are way too good, and I always have to buy a new one 😀
    h4y3swatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Although gambling apps are banned on the App Store”

    Well, setting aside this person’s lawsuit (I have no interest in it) that statement is simply not true. The App Store is chock full of games where you pay to gamble on a chance to win something. I guess in some countries the term “gambling” might legally be quite narrow and only mean where you can win money. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 44
    Rayz2016 said: If you bought the tokens, played the game, then bought more, then you weren't gambling, you were wasting your money playing games.
    Pretty much. Arcade games back in the '80s would sometimes give you the option of inserting more quarters to continue your game after you ran out of lives. It's a standard video game mechanic that's been around for decades. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 44
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,545member
    sflocal said:
    This is a perfect example of the lack of intelligence, and the over-abundance of sheer stupidity going on in our country.  This woman should be ashamed of herself.  When the case gets dismissed, I hope the ambulance-chasing lawyer gets disbarred for wasting everyone's time.

    I swear.. there was a time we taught our kids to accept responsibility for their actions.  Since then, adults have decided that anything bad that happens in their life is only the fault of someone else.

    I hope this woman and lawyer get canceled in social media.  If I were her employer, I'd be embarrassed to have her as an employee.
    I agree for the most part, but I’d replace “intelligence” with “integrity” and “stupidity” with “lack of accountability” and you’ve basically captured one of the root causes of very many problems in our country (which I assume to be USA) right now. 

    Your second paragraph captures the key reason why this problem persists, with the “we” part being especially important. There was a time when the “we” included not only parents, but teachers, neighbors, civic leaders, influencers, and social norms and expectations. The “we generation” was replaced by the “me generation” - and here’s an example of one of the consequences.

    Not trying to frame all of the country’s ills around one incident, but merely trying to point out that lack of intelligence and stupidity are actually valid reasons for an individual acting in this way. These are human conditions that someone can be born with. But lack of integrity and lack of accountability are learned behaviors that are passed down from one generation to the next, and especially when their are so many ongoing examples from which to draw upon.  
    edited October 2020 pscooter63darwinianduderarewatto_cobra
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