Texas Man Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Social Casino Game Developer

Written By Dan Holmes on November 22, 2023
Photo of dice on phone for story on Texas man suing social casino game developer AviaGames

A Texas man is one of two plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against a casino games developer from consumers who claim they lost money playing against non-human bots who made the game unfair and illegal.

Andrew Pandolfi of Texas and Mandi Shawcroft of Idaho are plaintiffs in a suit filed in United States District Court of Northern California, against AviaGames, a gaming tech company that operates from Silicon Valley.

“Avia’s games are manipulated games of chance that amount to an unapproved gambling enterprise,” the suit claims. “ … Avia users collectively have wagered hundreds of millions of dollars to compete in these games of ‘skill’ against what Avia says are other human users.

“However, as it turns out, the entire premise of Avia’s platform is false: Instead of competing against real people, Avia’s computers populate and/or control the games with computer ‘bots’ that can impact or control the outcome of the games.”

You may be familiar with some AviaGames titles

Three slots games from AviaGames rank among the most popular in the industry: Bingo Clash, Bingo Tour, and Solitaire Clash, all of which rate among the 10 most downloaded games, according to the lawsuit.

While the suit was filed by Pandolfi and Shawcroft, it is on behalf of any user who played an AviaGames title in the Pocket7Games application or elsewhere. Pocket7Games is a social casino — not a real-money online casino. Social casinos, which don’t require players to spend any money to play games (but players can buy certain types of digital currency), are the only type of legal online casinos in Texas.

AviaGames is facing another lawsuit from rival developer

According to a financial filing in 2021, AviaGames, registered in Mountain View, California, is valued at more than $600 million. This is not the first time AviaGames has faced a charge of using bots in its gaming technology. A 2021 lawsuit by rival game maker Skillz Games, predicated on patent and copyright infringement, revealed alleged usage of “bots” in AviaGames titles. Skillz Games claimed that AlviaGames uses bots so it can quickly pair users with other “users” that it passes off as humans.

The Skillz Games suit has yet to be brought to trial, but the discovery phase has led to tens of thousands of documents from AviaGames that may show the company has used technology from China to employ bots in its games.

Last week, a spokesperson for AviaGames refuted the claims.

“AviaGames stands behind its IP, unique gaming technology, the design of its games, and the integrity of its executive team,” the statement read. “Avia is the only skill-based gaming publisher offering one seamless, all-in-one platform that delivers an accessible, reliable, and high-quality mobile gaming experience for all its players.”

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayTX with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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