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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 44
    Lawyer wrote it that way for Class Action. 

    There should be repercussions for lawyers who take these cases and clog up the legal system. The ‘loser pays’ should be expanded to cover all the pre-trial hearing costs also.

    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...”

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 44
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Whatever happened to personal responsibility? I’ve never made an in-app purchase. In fact I disabled that function all together. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 44
    Does anyone doubt that the creators of these (garbage) apps are intentionally skating as close to the legal line as possible?  The psychiatry of gambling and addiction is very well understood. There is a ton of science about using "bells and whistles" to trigger parts of the brain to encourage people to act irrationally.  I see ads all the time (while playing other games) that promise real cash payouts and/or intentionally mimic real slot machines and other gaming activities.  Personally, I think these apps have zero redeeming value and are nothing more than a ploy to extract money from susceptible people (as opposed to being actual "fun" or "challenge" that one would want in a game).

    Apple is in a tough spot.  They are damned if they do and damned if they don't.  If they exclude this garbage they waste time and money trying to figure out that's a game and what's inappropriate--and then they are condemned for being a restrictive monopolist.  And when they let it in, they are sued for enabling gaming.

    Here's a suggestion for people who are likely to fall for this crap: don't download any app that has the "in-app purchase" warning.
    svanstromwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 44
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,338member
    applguy said:
    Bet she wouldn’t have sued if she had won. 

    Hahaha Amen!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    maestro64 said:
    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.
    There are three words that have been bastardized in this fucked up culture. The first is VICTIM. You’re nobody in this culture unless you are someone or some thing's victim. The second is SURVIVOR. Being a survivor makes you important in this culture. People who are not survivors are chopped liver. The third word is HERO. You help a little old lady cross the street and you’re given a medal and proclaimed a hero by this screwball culture. It denigrates the true meaning of the word and disrespects true heroes, many of who gave their lives.  So, if you’re not a victim, a survivor or some bullshit hero, you’re nothing to the culture, the media.

    These three bastardized words give you the power to reject any personal responsibility and blame whomever or whatever you choose. This person filing this lawsuit has convinced themselves they are Apple’s victim, that they have survived Apple’s evil onslaught, and that they are a hero for filing the lawsuit to right this terrible wrong done to them.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 26 of 44
    Although I don't like most freemium game business models, this certainly isn't gambling. This is the same model brick and mortar arcades have had forever. This is just spending irresponsibly.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 44
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,338member
    Although I don't like most freemium game business models, this certainly isn't gambling. This is the same model brick and mortar arcades have had forever. This is just spending irresponsibly.
    It's a slot machine game ( Jackpot Mania ) that she was playing. You spend real cash to get currency to play the game.. How is this not gambling?


    I don't agree with the lawsuit and it is a sad state that many folks in this country are in; as they refuse to accept ANY personal responsibility. I was just confused as to how you could think this app specifically isn't gambling?  Had it been a pinball machine simulator I would totally agree, but this? This is no different than a person sitting in front of a physical slot machine and dumping all of their cash into it.


    mattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 44
    I think she’s right. Apple should give her back the money. In return, she should give back the time she spent with the app. I’m sure for a witty person of such talent there is always a place. 
    Hm, maybe “the real Ellen Feiss”, or “whack the mole” figurine, or in other truly entertaining roles. 
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 29 of 44
    I think she’s right. Apple should give her back the money. In return, she should give back the time she spent with the app. I’m sure for a witty person of such talent there is always a place. 
    Hm, maybe “the real Ellen Feiss”, or “whack the mole” figurine, or in other truly entertaining roles. 
    Wow, real blast from the past there!  
    https://macenstein.com/default/2007/01/where-are-they-now-interview-with-switcher-girl-ellen-feiss/

  • Reply 30 of 44
    I am 100% against coins, gems, randomised loot boxes, and other freemium IAP garbage. It is gambling, it is a scam. 

    Bring it on. 

    Such software should be illegal. Subscriptions to keep playing or using an app to support continuing development, that is acceptable. 

    Jet pack joyride - I bought one IAP for that game, which is an all time “coin doubler” that I can restore purchases. So every coin I collect in game is actually 2 coins. But buying coins with real money? No. It’s not “The Last of Us Part II” on PlayStation. I am happy to pay real money for real games. But the IAP freemium model is insidious and causes real financial damage to vulnerable people, or young people on family sharing with linked parents payment information. 

    If you want to police and control the AppStore Apple, actually do it! They always claimed one reason was keeping scamware out. A gambling simulator which has to be fed real cash to proceed, that’s a scam. 
  • Reply 31 of 44
    Also, there are lots of folks who for whatever reason are more susceptible to fall for scams. Be it a phishing scam email, a ‘free’ game that is cleverly designed to encourage you to throw money into it, and hour long informercial in the middle of the night that convinces you to order some Chinese plastic things which will improve your life for just 7 easy payments of only $29.95 plus $12.95 postage and handling. People can have various IQ levels, temporary mental illness brought on by the stresses of 2020 in America, all sorts of things. That the most valuable company on the planet makes it so easy for unscrupulous developers to take advantage of these people is quite simply unacceptable.
  • Reply 32 of 44
    Looks like she just took another losing bet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 44
    Lol, you spent almost $3.5k on non-tangible bits of data, and NOW you want to win real money for being a dum dum. Pro gambler.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 44
    Can I sue Apple for making me addicted to buying iPhones for the apps? I’ve been trying to quit for years. /s
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 44
    corp1corp1 Posts: 93member
    There's a reason so many "free to play" apps use slot machine (aka "loot box" or "gacha") mechanics linked to real-money in-app purchases, and it's not to keep people from wasting money on more pulls.

    Coin Master doesn't even bother with the pretense that its core mechanic is anything other than a simulated slot machine; it's currently the 4th most profitable game on the App Store, beating out Candy Crush and Clash of Clans.
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 36 of 44
    corp1corp1 Posts: 93member

    mr lizard said:
    “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. 


    This exactly. Coin Master is a great example: a virtual slot machine where you get five free spins per hour to win coins and virtual items, but you can buy more spins via in-app purchases starting at $2.

    It's currently rated 17+ for Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling, but clearly aimed at all ages (originally it was rated 12+ but the rating seems to have been increased at some point.)

    Which mechanics are legal definitely varies across countries; Belgium for example banned loot boxes as a form of illegal gambling, but they remain legal in other countries.
    edited October 2020 svanstrom
  • Reply 37 of 44
    corp1corp1 Posts: 93member

    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. 
    Mobile games seem to have perfected the formula however, and the slot machine is now in your pocket rather than at a local arcade (sadly for arcade game fans some of the last standing arcade chains in 2020 like Chuck E. Cheese or Dave & Buster's may be closing or bankrupt due to the pandemic; though GameWorks is actually filing an IPO, having somewhat pivoted to esports.)  Most arcades switched to tokens, cards, or NFC rather than coins/cash, although you still see individual cash-based machines (they may also take credit card swipes) such as crane machines. I've also seen shopping centers with a number of cash-based machines, often gambling/prize-type games like crane machines or stacker. Some crane machines now feature a consolation prize or a guaranteed win of something.

    Many "free to play" games seem to rely on "whales" who spend large amounts of money on the game to enable non-paying players to play for free. If there weren't a way to "hook" the high-spending players, the game couldn't be "free to play" and still make money.
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 38 of 44
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    I hate to say it, but the woman has a point, and it’s Apple’s own fault:

    Apple’s justification for its walled garden approach to the appstore is safeguarding users, retaining a family friendly user environment, etc.

    I remember the brouhaha over ILLUSTRATIONS in a Kamasutra app that were too explicit, simply because they had a black dot where there’s supposed to be a nipple...

    Now, please tell me someone with a straight face that gambling, which is a known addiction just like cocaine or heroin, is “safe” but even rather abstract illustrations of tits are not?

    Heck, Apple banned Craigslist apps, not because the apps were objectionable, but because they might show web content that Apple deemed objectionable (never mind the same content was fully accessible with Apple’s own Safari).

    So yeah, gambling does make Apple money, but so would an illicit drugs home delivery app.

    To put it succinctly: Gambling is a known to be ruinous addiction, there’s nothing safe about it. In a curated appstore that claims to protect users, there’s ZERO place for gambling apps that take real money to play, aside from a one-time purchasing fee for the app.

    If Apple wants to claim, they are not their users keepers, fine, I fully agree, but then stop censoring apps: if someone wants to sell e.g. porn on the appstore within the legal limits, then Apple shouldn’t interfere with that, either.

    Apple cannot have it both ways.
    svanstrommuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 39 of 44
    jcs2305 said:
    Although I don't like most freemium game business models, this certainly isn't gambling. This is the same model brick and mortar arcades have had forever. This is just spending irresponsibly.
    It's a slot machine game ( Jackpot Mania ) that she was playing. You spend real cash to get currency to play the game.. How is this not gambling?


    I don't agree with the lawsuit and it is a sad state that many folks in this country are in; as they refuse to accept ANY personal responsibility. I was just confused as to how you could think this app specifically isn't gambling?  Had it been a pinball machine simulator I would totally agree, but this? This is no different than a person sitting in front of a physical slot machine and dumping all of their cash into it.


    It's not gambling because the in game tokens/coins you are buying have no cash value after you purchase them - you can't sell them or trade them in for cash.

    And it is EXACTLY like a pinball machine simulator.  What if you had do buy in game coins to play the pinball game?  That Ok?  If so, you might when a free ball/play, or a free game.  Exactly the same as the slot machine simulation.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 44
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,097member
    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.
    There is a sensible middle ground somewhere between taking no personal responsibility and caveat emptor. The manufacturer of a table lamp should probably not be held responsible if someone uses said lamp to hit a family member over the head. On the other hand, the purchaser of said table lamp shouldn't be responsible to inspect the internal wiring to make sure it won't issue a lethal jolt to the first person who tries to turn it on. 

    I don't care enough about it to delve into the specifics of this suit, but it is certainly true that there are games out there that are quite deliberately designed to trigger psychological impulses in order to extract the maximum possible money out of a given player. There is some sensible middle ground between making a good income for producing an entertaining game that is enjoyable to play and targeting compulsive players in order to drain their bank accounts before they know what happened to them. It doesn't seem unreasonable to think there might be some expectation that a game designer should build in mechanisms to hit the brakes if a player is just rapidly dumping money into in-app purchases to compulsively continue play. Bartenders are in the business of selling drinks for money, but they're also responsible to cut off a patron who's had too much and won't call it a night on their own.
    watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingam
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