US judge approves $415m IGT & DoubleDown social casino lawsuit


United States District Judge Robert Lasnik has approved the terms of a Washington-based class action lawsuit that was levelled against International Game Technology and its former DoubleDown Interactive subsidiary.

The litigation was initially brought forward by a pair of locals against IGT, which previously owned the latter before selling off the asset in 2017 for $825m to South Korean studio DoubleU Games.

Benson v DoubleDown Interactive alleged that the offer of social casino games, including roulette and slots that can be played with virtual chips and with no cash prizes, within the state of Washington represented illegal gambling.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, $415m will be paid into a settlement fund of which IGT’s subsidiaries will contribute $269.75m with DDI to provide $145.25m. During a Q2 2022 report, IGT noted it was preparing to settle and had earmarked $150m of earnings for a potential payout.

In approving the terms, Lasnik said that the settlement was “in all respects, fair, reasonable, and adequate” as well as “in the best interests” of those concerned.

Furthermore, in keeping with an initial agreement that was reached in August 2022, seven class members requested to be excluded pursuant to the terms of the settlement. This saw the court order those concerned be excluded from the settlement.

Despite reaching the aforementioned settlement agreement, the companies involved deny that they were in violation of Washington state laws.

“Neither this final judgement nor the fact or substance of the settlement agreement shall be considered a concession or admission by or against defendants or any other related party, nor shall they be used against defendants or any other released party as an admission, waiver, or indication with respect to any claim, defence, or assertion or denial of wrongdoing or legal liability,” it was wrote.

In January, DoubleDown Interactive disclosed a share purchase agreement that would see the company acquire Malta-based operator group SuprNation for approximately $35m.

The igaming group hailed a “strong presence in certain European markets,” with gaming licences possessed in jurisdictions such as the UK, Sweden, Malta and the Isle of Man.