Fire Casinos

$415m Social Casino Class Settlement Approved by U.S. Court

U.S. judge on Thursday granted a $415 million class-action settlement to resolve the accusations.

Gambling Legislation UK

$415m Social Casino Class Settlement Approved by U.S. Court 

The online gaming businesses DoubleDown Interactive LLC and International Game Technology PLC were accused of breaking consumer protection and gambling laws in Washington state.

A U.S. judge on Thursday granted a $415 million class-action settlement to resolve the accusations.

The resolution was deemed "fair, reasonable, and adequate" by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in his decision in the federal courthouse in Seattle. After the case's hearing, he gave his final approval order, bringing more than four years of litigation to a close. Online users claim that the defendants' "social casino" games "constitute unlawful gambling under Washington's gambling laws." The latest in a string of connected instances of the settlement.

The U.K.-based DoubleDown and International Game Technology have disclaimed any responsibility. The allegations of the plaintiffs, according to them, "rest on novel and untested interpretations of Washington's gambling laws."

Users pay for more chips even if the games are free to play. According to the lawsuit, gamblers bet in order to obtain more chips than they otherwise would have to purchase.

Tens of thousands of class members "purchased and lost chips" by playing at DoubleDown Casino, claim the plaintiffs' lawyers. Users have a right, according to the class action lawyers, to seek their losses under a Washington state law. On Friday, queries requesting comment from DoubleDown and its attorneys went unanswered.

A comparable request was not promptly answered by International Game Technology's legal counsel. Seven class members, according to Lasnik, chose not to participate in the settlement, but no official objections were raised. Todd Logan, the plaintiff's attorney at Edelson, the company that was handling the case, claimed on Friday that the firm's social casino litigation had netted clients and class members $651 million in total. In the most recent statement, Logan said

For the lead class counsel at Chicago-based Edelson, Lasnik awarded approximately $121.5 million in legal fees. About 29% of the settlement sum was allocated to Lasnik's fee award.

The solicitors for the plaintiffs had previously stated that they would only request a 30% fee. According to Lasnik's order, the case was "risky, novel, and hard-fought," and as a result, he granted a request for fees that exceeded the 25% threshold in Washington and the other states that make up the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In this case, Benson et al. are suing DoubleDown Interactive LLC et al. in the Western District of Washington.

The case number is 2:18-cv-00525-RSL- The case is Benson et al. v. DoubleDown Interactive LLC et al., U.S.

District Court, Western District of Washington, No. 2:18-cv-00525-RSL. Jaime Drozd Allen of Davis Wright is speaking for DoubleDown.

Tremaine Lauren Case of Duane Morris and Adam Pankratz of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart are solicitors for International Game Technology.