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Jessica Feil Speaks with Online Gambling Lawyer About Big Fish Casino App and a Washington State Court Ruling that the App Constitutes Illiegal Gambling

Washington State judge Milan Smith of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on 28 March 2018 that the interactive social casino app Big Fish Casino constitutes illegal gambling under Washington State law, in a verdict seen by many commentators as surprising. Judge Smith classified the virtual chips used in the games as a ‘thing of value’ under Washington State law, noting that “the virtual chips extended the privilege of playing Big Fish Casino,” and therefore Big Fish Casino is illegal gambling under state law.

“For now, and because this case is premised on Washington state laws, this puts some uncertainty in the Washington market as to the ability to offer freemium-style social gaming,” notes Jessica Feil, Associate at Ifrah Law. “However, this case is not over as the parties can seek further appeal, which might end up with a different result.”

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