An Illinois ruled last week that player losses incurred while playing in-app casino games on Game of War do not qualify as gambling losses. The ruling is a major victory for mobile app makers who rely on the revenue those casino games generate.

Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. a Federal Judge based in Chicago issued his ruling in regards to a case brought by a man named Mihajlo Ristic against Machine Zone, maker of the popular Game of War game, according to the Cook County Record.

In his suit, Ristic maintained that Machine Zone was in violation of Illinois gaming laws by running an in-game feature that allows players to buy spins on a virtual wheel to win virtual prizes that can be used in the game. Each spin of the wheel cost Ristic $.60 while the value of the prizes varied between $1.18 and $35.

Ristic estimated that he spent between $50-$500 on the game and was looking to recover his losses because it constituted illegal gambling. Judge Dow, however, wasn’t buying any part of Ristic’s argument.

In his ruling, Judge Dow said that Machine Zone wasn’t engaged in gambling because it wasn’t, in the eyes of the law, a “winner.” He went on to point out that game makers who sell virtual chips, the kind which Ristic used to pay for his virtual wheel spins, make their money selling chips, not on the outcome of the game.

Judge Dow backed his argument with several examples of similar cases, including one involving Amaya Gaming, where other judges had issued similar rulings.


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