VGW Faces Class Action Lawsuit in Georgia Over Alleged Gambling Law Breaches

Online social casino and poker game developer VGW is currently embroiled in a class action lawsuit in Georgia, accused of operating in violation of state gambling laws. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, centers around VGW's Chumba Casino, Global Poker, and LuckyLand Slots sites, which the plaintiff, Destiny Kennedy, claims have caused her to lose approximately $1,150.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • VGW is accused of breaching Georgia law by offering games of chance online.
    • Plaintiff Destiny Kennedy alleges financial loss due to the purchase of virtual coins.
    • Georgia Code § 13-8-3 is cited in the lawsuit, challenging the legality of VGW's operations.
    • The class action seeks monetary relief for Kennedy and potentially others affected.

VGW's platforms, while not allowing direct cash wagers, require customers to buy virtual coins, leading to financial losses, contrary to the company's "just for fun" marketing claims. This practice, Kennedy argues, violates Georgia's gambling laws, specifically citing Georgia Code § 13-8-3 regarding the void nature of gambling contracts.

The lawsuit emerges amidst a broader national discourse on the legal status of sweepstakes casinos, which legally operate in most U.S. states except Washington State and Idaho, due to specific prohibitions. These platforms typically avoid classification as gambling venues since they do not involve real money betting. However, the ability to purchase and gamble with Sweeps Coins, and potentially exchange them for cash prizes, places these operations in a legal gray area.

Recent legal actions highlight this contentious issue. In June 2023, a significant $415 million settlement was approved against DoubleDown Interactive LLC and International Game Technology PLC for operating "illegal gambling" social casino games. Similar lawsuits have targeted other companies like Playtika and Scientific Games Corp, with varying outcomes.

The VGW lawsuit in Georgia is the latest in a series of legal challenges facing the social casino industry, questioning the legality of its operations and its impact on consumers. Kennedy's demand for a jury trial and monetary relief underscores the growing concern over the social and financial consequences of these platforms. This lawsuit could potentially set a precedent for how sweepstakes casinos are regulated and perceived in the legal system, impacting operators and consumers alike.

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