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Georgia Woman Sues VGW Over ‘Illegal Gambling’

A Georgia woman named Destiny Kennedy is suing VGW, the operator of popular free-to-play online casinos, for engaging in illegal gambling in her state. The lawsuit, which was filed in Georgia Northern District Court seeks to recoup the losses Kennedy incurred at the site and is seeking class-action status. If successful, Kennedy’s lawsuit would force operators like VGW to radically change their current business models.

In court filings, Kennedy claims that VGW’s Holdings Limited, Malta Limited, Luckyland Inc., and GP Limited are in violation of Georgia Senate Bill 431, which was passed back in 2012. That law, which was aimed at land-based internet cafes, says that games of chance that are played on a computer are specifically barred in the state. That law, according to a report on SBC Americas, covers casino play that takes place in a business but is vague on play that takes place in a private.

The core of Kennedy’s against VGW is that the site isn’t really free-to-play. In her filings she says, “VGW proactively defrauds Georgia citizens because VGW advertises that its operations are legitimate and legal when, in reality, VGW knowingly and willfully operates what constitutes an illegal gambling enterprise.” She also states that it’s virtually impossible to play these games without shelling out real cash.

What makes Kennedy’s case interesting, and potentially threatening to the operator of Luckyland Casino, Chumba Casino and Global Poker is that arbitration is not an option. Kennedy is apparently a keen reader of fine print who opted out of arbitration when she originally signed up at the site. This means that VGW will very likely be spending some time in an actual Georgia courtroom before this case is settled.

So far there’s been no official response from VGW regarding the lawsuit or its potential impact on VGW’s business model in the US.