Amazon Facing Class Action Lawsuit Over Social Casino Apps

Amazon is one of the last companies you would expect to be sued over online gambling. According to a recent class action lawsuit, the world’s #1 retailer is now being accused of conspiring with multiple social online casinos to promote illegal gambling.

In a lawsuit filed in Washington State in America, Amazon is accused of violating state law by offering access to social casino apps. These apps are promoted to be “free to play”, but lawyers argue that the apps are illegal gambling and that the company is conducting practices that would be illegal for standard online casinos.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Amazon

Amazon logo

On 10 November, Steven Horn filed a class-action lawsuit in Washington State federal court against Inc. Horn alleges that he became addicted to illegal online pokies, aka slots, with many of the games available through Amazon.

The 28-page lawsuit accuses Amazon of knowingly violating Washington State law by allowing social casino apps to be promoted and offered on its platform. It alleges that Amazon brokers all in-app transactions and takes a significant cut in profits.

Social casino apps are designed with a “free to play” model that does not require players to deposit money. However, once those free chips run out, players can purchase additional chips. These chips do not have cash value, and players cannot win cash prizes.

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon has been able to make billions off players, with some players losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other hardships experienced by players include divorce, depression, and other financial and emotional difficulties.

Washington State has some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States. It is one of the only states that outlaws online gambling, including social casinos. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon actively markets social casino games, targets high-spending players, and attempts to activate new players.

Illegal Activities Alleged by Social Casino Operators

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon and social casino operators are effectively rigging online casino games against players. For example, they claim that online pokies offered by social casinos are setup to pay out in a way that guarantees that players become addicted. They also pay out in a way that will guarantee that a purchase of chips is required to continue playing.

Furthermore, Amazon reportedly takes a 30% commission on all transactions made in the apps promoted through its platform. This is drastically higher than the house edge taken by traditional and online casinos. The average house edge found at casinos ranges from 1 to 15 per cent, with Australian online casinos typically in the 1 to 2 per cent range.

One big difference between Amazon and other forms of casinos is that traditional and online casinos assume a financial risk in offering games. If they have a month where players win more than lose, then the casino loses money. Amazon is guaranteed to make its 30% commission no matter what happens.

Many Popular Social Casino Games Mentioned in Lawsuit

One would assume that the lawsuit would involve lesser-known apps, but many well-known casino games are being named in this lawsuit. Below are just a few of the apps listed in the case:

  • MONOPOLY Slots – Casino Games
  • Big Fish Casino
  • Cashman Casino Las Vegas Slots
  • Lotsa Slots
  • Game of Thrones Slots Casino
  • Wizard of Oz Slots
  • Huuuge Casino Slots
  • POP! Slots Vegas Casino Games

Considering the legal climate of online gambling in Washington State, it is very likely that this lawsuit will move forward. It could also set a precedent for other countries looking to slow the growth of social casino games.

While social casino games are fun, you cannot win real money with them. Also, as this lawsuit alleges, you can never know if the games are genuinely random. This is why we recommend playing at real money Australian online casinos. These casinos are licensed and offer truly random gaming, along with demo versions of pokies that are truly free to play.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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