Amazon pushes back against social casino lawsuit

January 8, 2024
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The multinational corporation has asked an appeals court to freeze the case until it can determine whether similar lawsuits are allowed.

Amazon has said a federal law that “immunizes internet platforms from claims over third-party content on their websites should block a new consumer lawsuit accusing the company of profiting from unlawful casino-style apps,” according to a Reuters report.

Amazon currently offers free-to-play games through its site. These titles do not produce cash payouts but generate virtual chips that players can win. However, players must buy more to continue playing.

The recent case involves a resident from the state of Nevada who has filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon. The plaintiff claimed that he was “addicted to illegal online slot games” and has accused Amazon.com of offering online customers more than 30 illegal casino apps.

Amazon recently filed with a federal judge in Seattle, Washington, and asked to freeze the consumer case until an appeals court can look over if similar cases against Apple, Google and Facebook should be allowed.

The San Fransisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear these casino-app cases later this spring, according to the Reuter’s report.

Amazon attorneys at Perkins Coie told US District Judge Robert Lasnik that the court is expected to issue a ruling by year’s end.

Should these cases make their way to court, hundreds of millions of dollars in damages could be on the line. Two years ago, a California federal judge affirmed that “consumers could pursue claims against Google, Apple and Facebook over their roles in processing payments for in-app transactions.

Currently, Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 offers tech companies that provide third-party content on their websites “some protections.”

If the appeals court allows litigation, this could set a new precedent, changing the game for websites that host content they have not created on their websites.

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