Two players who filed a class action application in an Ohio court in March 2007 have finally achieved an outcome - but it's perhaps not the one they were hoping for, with the case lost on terms and conditions and jurisdictional grounds.
Case 1:06-CV-02376 in the District Court for the North Eastern District of Ohio reveals that plaintiffs Rose Wong and Patrick Gibson started a $5 million compensation class action against Party Gaming, charging that the company had misrepresented itself in claiming to have developed a "Collusion Prevention System" that did not prevent two or more players from collaborating in order to gain an unfair advantage over other players.
The plaintiffs alleged that the Party Gaming statement was false, and that there were other players on the website who possessed multiple accounts and otherwise colluded to the disadvantage of other players. The duo further claimed that Party Gaming was aware of the shortcomings but was unable or unwilling to put an end to the problems and instead chose to conceal the problem to the detriment of its players rather than lose business. The period cited by the plaintiffs started in January of 2002.
Violations of the Ohio state consumer protection laws, breach of contract and misrepresentation were all alleged.
However, the case ultimately turned on the website's Terms and Conditions, which must be agreed to by players prior to any gambling being accepted. And Judge Ann Aldrich found that those terms and conditions specify that any legal action should be brought before a court at the company's corporate headquarters in Gibraltar.
The plaintiffs have served notice of intention to appeal the decision.
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