When the Quinault Indian Nation wasn't satisfied with the efforts of the Washington Gambling Commission to curtail what it saw as illegal gambling facilitated by Valve's Steam gaming platform through Counter Strike: Global Offensive "lootboxes" and related websites, it decided to take matters into its own hands - with a lawsuit.
What does Quinault allege in its suit?
Is Valve facilitating gambling through Steam and Counter Strike?
If reasonable minds can (and do) differ on what constitutes gambling here, is it up to Quinault to determine, or does that fall to the Washington Gambling Commission?
And if the Washington Gambling Commission has already worked with Valve on this topic and hasn't alleged a further violation by Valve, how could Valve be competing unfairly, acting negligently, or otherwise interfering with the Quinault compact with the state?
In short, is this really a policy dispute masquerading as a lawsuit?
And, hey, this matter was brought to my attention by Damien Newell on Twitter (by way of The Free to Play cast). If you have a topic you want covered on Virtual Legality, be sure to let me know(@hoeglaw on Twitter)!
#Quinault #Valve #VirtualLegality
Discussed in this episode:
"Valve hit with illegal gambling lawsuit by Native American nation that operates a casino in Washington state"
GeekWire - April 12, 2019 - Nat Levy
"Quinault v. Valve"
April 3, 2019 - No. 19-2-262-14
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.46.0237
"Civil action—Unfair or deceptive act or practice—Claim elements."
"Gambling commission—Powers and duties."
"Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil - Tortious Interference with Economic Relations"
December 2017 Update
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"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).
Rick has practiced for more than a decade at some of the country's largest law firms, representing IT, software, video game, and other technology companies, as well as the individuals and institutions which fund them.
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