Scientific Video games Sued by Riverboats Over ‘Unlawful’ Shuffler Monopoly


Posted on: April 7, 2021, 05:01h. 

Final up to date on: April 7, 2021, 05:01h.

Two Midwest riverboat casinos are suing Scientific Video games (SG) over claims the gaming provide large fraudulently monopolized the market in automated card shufflers by strangling competitors with “sham lawsuits.”

Scientific Games
Signage for the On line casino Queen Marquette, which is docked on the Mississippi River in Marquette, Iowa. (Picture: KCRG)

On line casino Queen, of East St Louis, Illinois, which trades as DraftKings at On line casino Queen, and On line casino Queen Marquette, of Marquette, Iowa, are each docked on the Mississippi River. They allege SG’s habits allowed it to set costs with out worry of being undercut.

The lawsuit argues direct purchasers of shufflers, just like the plaintiffs, have been broken financially consequently and seeks acceptable monetary aid. It needs different operators to affix the class-action lawsuit in opposition to SG and calls for a jury trial.

The go well with additionally names SG subsidiaries Bally Applied sciences and Bally Gaming as defendants.

Multimillion SG Settlement

In 2018, a federal decide ordered SG to pay $315 million to Shuffletech, a producer that SG compelled out of the market with authorized threats, regardless of realizing that its patents have been invalid and unenforceable. The settlement was decreased to $151.5 million on attraction.

SG was discovered to have misled the patent workplace and to have engaged in “sham patent litigation in opposition to any competitor that dared to market aggressive card shufflers,” in line with the decide in that case.

The On line casino Queen go well with notes that many gaming services haven’t any choice however to buy SG’s machines as a result of shuffling by hand is illegitimate in lots of jurisdictions. However operators are compelled to pay “supracompetitive costs” due to the SG monopoly.

The market in automated card shufflers is valued at roughly $100 million per 12 months.

SG controls an efficient 100% share of the market, in line with the go well with. However this has not been achieved by “superior acumen, innovation, ability, foresight, or business, or by the right functioning of the market,” however by “purposeful abuse of the patent system and the judicial course of.”

No Options

“There aren’t any affordable substitutes or options for computerized card shufflers for on line casino desk video games that use bodily taking part in playing cards, which means that demand is inelastic for these merchandise. Inelastic demand signifies that will increase in worth lead to restricted declines in amount bought out there,” continues the lawsuit.

In different phrases, as a result of the demand for computerized card shufflers is inelastic, sellers of computerized card shufflers – just like the Defendants – can elevate the costs of those shufflers above aggressive ranges with out seeing a decline in gross sales income.”

The lawsuit lists a number of rivals who’ve been pushed out of the market by the defendants’ so-called sham litigation. In some circumstances, the defendants acquired their rivals’ property at a reduction after that they had been weakened by authorized motion.

SG acquired its automated shuffling know-how when it purchased out Bally Know-how in 2014 for $5.1 billion. A 12 months earlier, Bally had acquired SHFL Leisure, which invented the Shuffle Grasp machine.

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