A lawsuit has been filed against AviaGames, a Silicon Valley-based company, alleging that it uses bots to beat real players in its gaming apps, despite claiming to be skill-based. The company, led by co-founders Vickie Chen and Ping Wang, allegedly deceives consumers and controls the outcome of games contested between two people.
The lawsuit, filed in the US Northern District of California, accuses AviaGames of running an unapproved gambling enterprise. Real money casino gambling is only legal in six states, but the company and its rival Skillz offer skill-based products similar to traditional board games to circumvent gambling laws. However, nine states have banned skill gaming apps from accepting cash deposits from players.
Skillz has also filed a lawsuit against Avia, alleging that its competitor copied its digital products and poached users to its platform. The lawsuit further alleges that AviaGames uses bots on its Pocket7Games platform.
Andrew Pandolfi of Texas and Mandi Shawcroft of Idaho are seeking to recoup their losses and bring in other victims to the lawsuit. Their attorneys contend that AviaGames has misled players into thinking they are competing against real people in skill-based games, when in reality they are playing against computer bots in a rigged game of chance.
AviaGames denies the allegations, stating that the claims are baseless, and the company is confident it will prevail in legal proceedings. The case is scheduled for an “Initial Case Management Conference” on Feb. 21, 2024.
The legal battle highlights the growing competition in the skill-based gaming app market and raises questions about the fairness and transparency of these apps. As the lawsuit progresses, it remains to be seen how the allegations against AviaGames will be addressed in a potentially precedent-setting case.