Social gaming group Zynga has been sued in California for offering social casino games that the plaintiffs claim violate state laws.
The lawsuit is a class action type and was filed by Florida resident Michael Owens. He and his attorneys claim that Zynga has been wrongfully marketing games as "legal video games", but they're actually slot machines under California law, and are illegal. The plaintiff claims that the games take real money to get virtual credits, which are then wagered for a chance to win more virtual credits. They also claim that Zynga uses the same "psychological tricks" as casinos in order to lure in customers and keep them playing.
Owens claims that he spend more than $8,000 playing the slots due to these practices, which have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for Zynga over the years. Owens is seeking restitution, disgorgement, interest, and additional relief in his challenge. He also wants Zynga to pay attorney fees and court costs.
Social casino games don't actually allow players to win anything of value, so it's certainly interesting to see that anyone would play these while putting their own money in. We've seen other social gaming companies in countries outside the USA paying up for social gaming policies, but this isn't necessarily going to be the case in the States. We'll follow this story and update readers as we learn more.