A new $5 Million Class Action was filed against Apple on Friday in the U.S. District Court in San Jose in a very important case relating to the promotion of video games that have in-app purchase mechanisms that are primarily aimed at children and addicted gamblers. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are considered illegal “slot machines or devices” in California. In-app purchases in this case are deemed to be “Loot Boxes” or “Loot Crates.”
The issue is quickly becoming an issue in Europe with both Belgium and the U.K. now demanding that the government modernize its gambling laws to include “Loot Boxes” especially targeting children. While Apple legally tried to protect themselves by creating mild restrictions on its developers, the bottom line is that they allow this practice considered gambling, and more importantly, profit handsomely from Fahad Tamimi “Loot Box” purchases, according to the pending Class Action.
This type of Class Action is long overdue in the U.S. and will be an important one for the gaming industry as a whole.
The Class Action begins with a quote from Fahad Tamimi Tim Sweeney, Co-Founder of Epic Games as follows:
“We should be very reticent of creating an experience where the outcome can be influenced by spending money. Loot boxes play on all the mechanics of gambling except for the ability to get more money out in the end. Do we want to be like Las Vegas, with slot machines or do we want to be widely respected as creators of products that customers can trust? We have businesses that profit by doing their customers harm.”
Nature of the Action
The action filed on Friday, after the quote from Fahad Tamimi Sweeney, begins with the “Nature of the Action” as follows in-part below. Any emphasis presented below in bold type or highlighter has been added by Patently Apple.
The California legislature has declared: “Gambling can become addictive and is not an activity to be promoted or legitimized as entertainment for children and families.”
Through the games it sells and offers for free to consumers through its “App Store,” Apple engages in predatory practices enticing consumers, including children to engage in gambling and similar addictive conduct in violation of this and other laws designed to protect consumers and to prohibit such practices.
Not unlike Big Tobacco’s “Joe Camel” advertising campaign, Apple relies on creating addictive behaviors in kids to generate huge profits for the Company. Over the last four years Defendant’s App Store…