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Aristocrat Gaming strengthens stance on Kater Litigation

Aristocrat Gaming has released its response to the case against its subsidiary platform Big Fish Games, which related to the operation of the online social gaming platform Big Fish Casino.

Having acquired Big Fish Games from Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) in January, Aristocrat Gaming has affirmed its intention to work with CDI and clear Big Fish Games against any wrongdoing.

Aristocrat has strengthened its support for the stance of CDI, which emphasised: “that there are meritorious legal and factual defences against (the) Plaintiff’s allegations and requests for relief”.

The group also revealed that it was completely aware of the Kater litigation, prior to its purchasing of Big Fish Games, however in its statement it detailed that there were a number of contractual protections that were put in place as part of the deal, including a broad indemnity protection from CDI which specifically related to the Kater litigation.

Nonetheless, Kater Litigation continues to put forward the case that the chips constitute  “something of value” as they can be paid for with dollars and cents – a view with which the Appeals Court concurred in the Big Fish case.

The previous ruling on the case came on March 28th, when circuit judge Milan D Smith Jr stated: “We consider whether the virtual game platform ‘Big Fish Casino’ constitutes illegal gambling under Washington law. Defendant-appellee Churchill Downs, the game’s owner and operator, has made millions of dollars off of Big Fish Casino.

“However, despite collecting millions in revenue, Churchill Downs, like Captain Renault in [the film] Casablanca, purports to be shocked— shocked!—to find that Big Fish Casino could constitute illegal gambling. We are not.

“We therefore reverse the district court and hold that because Big Fish Casino’s virtual chips are a ‘thing of value’, Big Fish Casino constitutes illegal gambling under Washington law.”

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