The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s dismissal of a purported class action and held that a social casino game constituted illegal gambling under Washington law. According to the Court, all online or virtual gambling is illegal in Washington state. The panel held that the virtual chips extended the privilege of playing the game and fell within Wash. Rev. Code § 9.46.0285’s definition of a “thing of value.”
This case reaches a different result than other cases that we have previously reported on here and here. However, based on the Court’s findings, the facts here are somewhat different than in those other cases. Nevertheless, companies in the social casino game space or that offer gamblification mechanics should seek advice on their business model to assess whether this case poses any risks.