Roblox, the maker of a wildly popular immersive online gaming platform, filed a motion in California to dismiss a federal class action lawsuit accusing it of colluding with illegal online casinos to prey on its users, who are predominantly minors.
The motion, filed last week, essentially argues Roblox is a neutral participant and cannot be held responsible for the actions of a third party.
Specifically, Roblox argues that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) bars the plaintiffs’ claims. The act protects interactive computer services from liability for claims related to publishing allegedly harmful third-party content.
Section 230, the motion offers, precludes all nine counts presented in the plaintiffs’ case:
Plaintiffs’ claims — all premised on the theory that Roblox failed to ban the VC Developers from using the platform due to their publication of “gambling games” and virtual “chips” — are precluded by Section 230, which bars claims against “(1) a provider or user of an interactive computer service (2) whom a plaintiff seeks to treat … as a publisher or speaker (3) of information provided by another information content provider.
Further, Roblox argues Section 230 establishes:
Broad federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service.
Lawsuit Claims Roblox ‘Preying On Children’
Initially filed in August, plaintiffs position the suit against Roblox and its “Gambling Website” co-defendants as a “case concerning an illegal gambling operation that is preying on children nationwide.”
Plaintiffs Rachelle Colvin of California and Danielle Sass of New York launched the lawsuit for themselves, their minor children, and the suit’s three proposed classes.
In addition to Roblox, defendants include:
- Satozuki Limited B.V. (RBXFlip)
- Studs Entertainment Ltd. (Bloxflip)
- RBLXWild Entertainment LLC (RBLXWild)
Together, the suit maintains, the above entities “maintain and facilitate” an illegal gambling ecosystem targeted at children. That ecosystem, plaintiffs argue, depends on Roblox’s online platform and digital currency.
Further, the suit accuses Roblox of misleading parents and customers with its Terms of Service.
With those terms, the complaint says:
Roblox misleadingly represents to parents and other users that its platform and digital currency are safe. Further, Roblox explicitly represents that “experiences that include simulated gambling, including playing with virtual chips, simulated betting, or exchanging real money, Robux, or in-experience items of value are not allowed.”
This, the suit follows, is misleading at best.
In fact, Roblox allows third-party gambling websites, including the highly popular online casinos operated by Defendants Satozuki, Studs, and RBLXWild (collectively, the “Gambling Website Defendants”), to use the Roblox website to accept online bets using Robux, to be placed on games at the Gambling Website Defendants’ virtual casinos. Roblox also facilitates the Gambling Website Defendants’ efforts to track bets, complete transactions, wager Robux, and satisfy wagers in their digital casinos.
Roblox’s breach of its duties, the plaintiffs argue, harmed “its minor users who lost Robux participating in the illegal gambling scheme.”
As a result of the “defendants’ misconduct,” plaintiffs and class members are seeking damages “in an amount to be proven at trial.”
Roblox Argues for Dismissal
However, in addition to Roblox’s use of Section 230 in its motion to dismiss, the company’s legal team filed additional counter-arguments to most of the suit’s nine counts.
The proposed class action, the suit maintains, failed to prove its Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim (Count l). Additionally, Roblux argues the plaintiffs lack an injury under laws referenced in Counts ll-V.
Finally, the motion to dismiss argues the plaintiffs’ Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claims (Counts ll-lll), civil conspiracy claims (Count Vlll), and request for relief are defective.
As a result, the motion concludes the court should dismiss the case.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court should dismiss the Complaint with prejudice.