Apple faces a new $5m class action lawsuit filed by a group of over 100 social casino game players. This is the second lawsuit of its kind filed against Apple so far this year, however, this particular lawsuit is focused on Zynga’s poker and casino apps.
The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Columbia and alleges that Apple is making a profit from illicit gambling apps that have in-game purchases.
While Zynga’s apps are free to play, they also offer players the opportunity to make in-game purchases for real money. These include chip bundles and extra spins on slots.
However, as there are no real money prizes, the apps have been long considered legal. This lawsuit contends that the purchase of in-game currency and then using it to gamble is a breach of gambling laws in 25 states.
The lawsuit also suggests that Apple is complicit in the operation of illegal and unlicensed gambling. This is in part because the company hosts the apps on its App Store but also because it profits from any in-game purchases.
And those profits are quite significant. In its fiscal report for 2020, Zynga posted record full year revenue of $1.97 billion. Zynga Poker was also one of the company’s top revenue-generating apps.
It’s this fact that Apple takes an actual cut from Zynga’s in-game profits that could see this lawsuit gain more traction than previous lawsuits. These include a lawsuit filed in Connecticut in October of last year that alleges that the company violates gambling laws by hosting casino apps.