Posts Tagged: Lottery

What’s a Prize? Illinois Federal Court Holds In-App Purchases for a Chance to Win Enhanced Game Play Is Not Illegal Gambling

Recently, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a putative class action lawsuit claiming that the online game Castle Clash involved illegal gambling because players could make in-app purchases to win “Heroes”, “gems”, “shards” and “Honor Badges” to enhance their gaming experience.

I think I got this right: In Castle Clash, players amass armies of “Heroes” to do battle against one another. During play, the players collect “shards” – a type of virtual currency – in the game’s “dungeon” and can use these shards to obtain new Heroes from the “Hero Shop”. Also, when a player downloads the game, she is provided with some “gems” to use to make in-app “purchases” within the game to enhance play. Players can amass more gems by buying them, with prices ranging from $1.99 to $99.99. A player can collect Heroes without using her shards by purchasing gems to enter a “Talent Roll” where Heroes are awarded randomly (with a lesser chance of winning better Heroes). There are also in-app events where players with a lot of gems are awarded rare Heroes. The Heroes cannot be redeemed for cash.

To put it simply, you can pay for a better chance to win thingies that make your game play that much more thrilling. (more…)

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You Lost the Race, But You May Have Hit the Lottery: NY Road Runners’ Illegal Lottery Lawsuit

What is it with New York these days; it’s a boon for promotion lawyers. First, the Attorney General says daily fantasy sports are illegal gambling and now disgruntled marathoners are claiming that the organizers of the NYC Marathon run an illegal lottery. On January 21, 2016, two guys from Utah filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York for a class action against the New York Road Runners, Inc. alleging that from 2010-2015 the Road Roaders ran an illegal lottery because some potential entrants had to pay an $11 processing fee to be entered into a drawing to compete in the Marathon. (See Complaint at http://thetmca.com/files/2016/01/16-cv-00450-Document-1-3.pdf )

For those of us without “26.2” stickers in our car windows, the runners tell us that because there are only a limited number of spots, people can enter the Marathon either by donating time or money to a charity, winning a qualifying race, or by the “Lottery”. The odds of getting picked in 2015 were less than 1:5. Unfortunately, Messrs. Konopa and Clark (the plaintiffs) didn’t win. So, instead of doing what most people would do – train harder – they did what makes this country of ours so litigious great, they sued. (more…)

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Government to Citizens: Powerball Good/Daily Fantasy Sports Bad

What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

44 states are selling legal lottery tickets to hopeful citizens with the 1 in 292.2 million chance of becoming a billionaire. (For those keeping score, you can’t play Powerball in AL, AS, HA, MS, NV and UT.)

At least 8 states have declared daily fantasy sports illegal gambling; all of these states, except Nevada, allow Powerball. (Again, for the score keepers, no DFS in AZ, IO, LA, MT, NV, WA, IL and NY*) *NY appellate court recently said o.k. for now.

What’s the difference? Your government said so. (more…)

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You Are a Winner – Sweepstakes Scams Are Still Popular

Recently, an affluent and intelligent businessman received a letter on Publishers Clearinghouse letterhead complete with the PCH logo and signed by its CFO informing him – by name – that he was selected as the second place winner in the 100 Million Dollars Super Cash Giveaway Promotion sponsored by Reader’s Digest, Mega Millions and Multi-State Lottery Association. (bold in original) He “won” $1.5 million. The letter instructed him to contact the claims manager at a real phone number and provide him with the “Security Code” identified in the letter. The letter even advised him that pursuant to Federal and State law, this Security Code must be kept confidential “which means, you are precluded from discussing your win with third parties.” As a very nice courtesy, the letter came with a check for $8,500 “to cover insurance and attorneys fees.” (more…)

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