Aristocrat Agrees on a $155m Settlement in Washington

27 May 2020

Aristocrat, the famed gaming machines manufacturer, disclosed that it has come to a final agreement to settle two class-action lawsuits filed against it in the State of Washington. The lawsuits were about the social games offered by Big Fish Games, an Aristocrat subsidiary the company took in after acquiring it from Churchill Downs Inc. back in 2018. This settlement agreement, however, still awaits the US Federal Court’s approval.

The Australian iGaming company agreed on a $155 million settlement, divided into $124m and $31m for Churchill Downs and Aristocrat respectively to compensate for the lawyer’s fees and the money lost as claimed by the plaintiffs and a countrywide settlement class. Aristocrat is also stripping Churchill Downs, the previous proprietor of Big Fish Games of any immunity from the two class-action suits.

The lawsuits assert that the social games franchise Aristocrat acquired from the Churchill Downs for $990 million in 2018 January offered gambling games, while the State of Washington hasn’t okayed gambling yet. The three plaintiffs that first filed the suits claimed to have lost a lot of money while gambling on their mobile devices. Despite playing with free virtual chips, the games had the option to buy virtual chips for real money instead.

The ruling passed by the Washington District Court stated that whether the chance of aforesaid games to be taken as games of chances rested on the idea of the value for the virtual chip. Even though the chips couldn’t be swapped for real cash, users had to buy more of the chips to keep on playing when they ran out of chips, which connote that the chips were ‘valuable’.

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