Aristocrat Confirms Big Fish US Lawsuit

Big Fish
It appears as if the Australian gaming-tech specialist Aristocrat Gaming may have inadvertedly poked its nose into a hornet’s nest when it bought social gaming business Big Fish Games back in 2017. Aristocrat paid a handsome $1 billion for the enterprise at the time, and will in all likelihood end up continue to pay some more, and then some, now that the a US class action lawsuit has been filed against Big Fish and its virtual casino chips.

The class action appears to be a classic case of sour grapes on the part of the plaintiff, who has now managed to rally together a group of individuals in a similar situation in order to strengthen her own case. Manasa Thimmegowda claims that some of the games offered by Big Fish Games are games of chance, and that since Washington D.C. law prohibits these, the supplier had been in the wrong to offer those games to players residing in the US State.

Thimmegowda’s unhappiness stems from the fact that she had spent $3,000 on virtual casino chips and was now seeking a refund of the money spent and appropriate additional relief for herself as well as her co-complainants, all of whom appear to be in a similar out-of-pocket situation.

Why Virtual Chips Have Value

Thimmegowda’s class-action lawsuit was instituted nearly a year after a US Court of Appeal ruled that some of Big Fish’s games, including Blackjack, Poker and pokies, do constitute illegal online gambling, despite the fact that they are free to play.

In Washington state law, a specific reference is made between anything that is “a thing of value” and the act of gambling. Social games such as those offered by Big Fish Games may not fall under the category of real money games, but the fact that virtual casino chips do “extend the privilege of playing” is problematic according to the provisions of Washington-law.

No Lying Down Here

Aristocrat has said that despite it now having been informed of the class action against Big Fish Games, no initial complaint had ever been served on it or any of its subsidiary businesses. Furthermore, the supplier says that it intends to defend the action to the full extent that the law allows.