Court throws out anti-gaming class-action suit

Jul 9, 2002 10:07 AM

What threatened to be a billion dollar class action lawsuit brought against casinos, cruise ships, manufacturers, distributors, operators and owners of slot machines worldwide, was denied by the U.S. District Court in Nevada.

The plaintiffs in the action claimed that casinos, cruise ships and makers of video poker games committed fraud in the marketing and operation of video poker machines.

In order to qualify as a class action suit, the plaintiffs claimed to represent all people who play video poker. The court disagreed.

"The court pursued a rigorous analysis of the plaintiff’s case but found that there was not enough evidence to justify a class action lawsuit against my clients," said Dennis Kennedy, a litigation partner with Las Vegas-based Lionel Sawyer and Collins, and co-lead counsel in the case, representing more than 60 major casinos, cruise ships and manufacturers. "The court correctly denied the motion to certify the class. Clearly the court knew what it was doing in this matter."

The court found that there were so many varied reasons an individual would have in making the decision to play video poker and similar games that it would make a class action lawsuit highly unreliable.

"Deciding to play an electronic slot or video poker machine is much like making the decision to buy a CD ”” you may like what you purchase or you may regret the decision," Kennedy added. "In either case, it is an entertainment decision rather than a business decision, and each person relies on a very different set of criteria to make the decision."