Friday July 17,2015 : CHURCHILL DOWNS IN ONLINE GAMBLING DISPUTE
Company denies that its social gaming activity constitutes illegal gambling.
Churchill Downs, which acquired Seattle-based Big Fish Gaming earlier this year for $835 million to become involved in the social gaming vertical by offering free games online, has filed a motion requesting a federal judge to dismiss a case that claims such games constitute illegal casino gambling.
The Courier-Journal reports that Big Fish has worked well in its first three months with Churchill, becoming a major revenue contributor to the group.
The dispute began with a lawsuit filed in Seattle earlier this year by Michigan resident Cheryl Kater, who seeks to recoup losses of $1,000 incurred whilst playing the games. Big Fish generates revenue through advertising and selling its players additional virtual credits to facilitate continued playing on free casino-style games, which Kater claims constitutes illegal gambling.
Churchill has responded by claiming that the Washington State Gaming Commission had opined that the games are not gambling because players cannot win money or tangible reward at the Big Fish Casino.
Seattle-based Big Fish has 580 employees and has distributed more than 2.5 billion games to mobile and online customers in 150 countries from a catalog of more than of 450 mobile games and more than 3,500 personal computer games, Churchill claims.