Queue a new controversy about Roblox: a new class-action lawsuit made by two parents has accused the massive online game platform of facilitating online gambling to children and making proffits out of it.
As was reported by Bloomberg Law, on August 15 a lawsuit was filed on behalf of parents Rachel Colvin and Danielle Sass in the Northern District of California, accusing the Roblox Corporation and its online game platform (Roblox) of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “to profit from gambling games meant to attract kids” in collaboration with third-party websites.
According to the parents’ argument, Roblox allows users (very commonly underage) to purchase their own digital currency called Robux with real money. While Roblox is officially against gambling in its platform, its system does allow for the transferring of Robux to external websites without much difficulty. As Robux have a real world value due to the transaction, third-parties are therefore making profit out of it, while the Roblox Corporation gets a monetary commission every time a transaction is made.
The lawsuit states that “each of the Illegal Gambling Websites operates on or in concert with Roblox and the Gambling Website Defendants, facilitating an exchange of Robux for gambling credits that occurs on the Roblox platform. Indeed, Robux never leave the Roblox platform until they are exchanged for cash. Once a minor user’s credits are exhausted, the Gambling Website Defendants cash out their newly-acquired Robux and provide Roblox with its 30% transaction fee.”
Gambling and Roblox has already been an issue
Recently, it was revealed that these gambling websites have been using underage influencers to promote their services, in an effort to attract the attention of vulnerable users. As reported by journalist Cody Luongo of Sharpr, they’ve deiscovered that there are “a handful of black market casino sites aggressively targeting the franchise’s youthful audience and facilitating illegal gambling services.” Sites like BloxFlip, RBXFlip, RBXLWild, RBXGold and many more allow users to log in using their Roblox accounts, which in turn lets them deposit in-game items or currency (known as Robux) to gamble them in casino style games.
Roblox responded to this lawsuit by saying the following: These are third-party sites and have no legal affiliation to Roblox whatsoever. Bad actors make illegal use of Roblox’s intellectual property and branding to operate such sites in violation of our standards. Roblox has teams and processes in place to investigate these websites to protect our brand and platform, including, where possible, having the websites removed. In some cases, we engage with law enforcement as part of our efforts. Ensuring a safe and compliant online experience for users of Roblox is a core tenant of the company. Roblox will continue to be vigilant in combating entities who engage in practices that are in violation of our policies or endanger the safety of our community.”