DoubleDown Casino won a big legal victory recently when an Illinois judge tossed out a class action lawsuit filed against the company by a disgruntled customer. The move constitutes a big win for the social gaming industry.
The lawsuit in question was filed by an Illinois resident named Margo Phillips. Phillips, who lost more than $1,000 playing on DoubleDown Casino, claimed that the social gaming app constituted illegal gambling under Illinois state law.
In her reasoning, the fact that customers could win and lose something of value made DoubleDown Casino no different from any other casino. The judge in the case, Edmond E. Chang, actually agreed with Phillips right up until it actually mattered.
Chang shot down DoubleDown’s argument that their games didn’t constitute actual gambling saying:
Although it is true that the Internet is not a tangible device in the exact same way that a stand-alone slot machine is, the Internet is also not some amorphous thing, and Double Down’s app can qualify as a ‘device’ used for gambling.
That said, Chang did note that DoubleDown Casino’s business model, based on players buying and spending virtual chips that cannot be cashed in for real cash, did not constitute illegal gambling under Illinois state law, according to the Cook County Record.
In Illinois, both the customer and the casino have to actually face a potential loss before a game becomes illegal gambling. Because DoubleDown Casino customers can’t cash in their chips and walk out the door, the social casino is perfectly legal in the Land of Lincoln.
Phillips’ failure is a big win for the social gaming industry and big loss for sore losers.