Lawsuit Says Verizon's Text Message TV Show Contests Are "Illegal Gambling"

A class-action lawsuit has been filed in California against Verizon and several third-party companies, alleging that they promoted illegal gambling by enticing customers to pay to enter contests in which there was an “infinitesimally” small chance of winning, reports RCRWireless. “The suit centers on 99-cent charges levied on wireless consumers who played contests associated with popular TV shows like ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Sole Survivor.'” The plaintiffs claim that the contests were less promotional sweepstakes than “illegal lotteries designed to generate revenues far in excess of the value of the cash awarded.”

Because the issue doesn’t implicate Verizon’s subscriber contracts, the plaintiffs claim the carrier’s arbitration clause isn’t enforceable.

“Suit alleges Verizon Wireless text service amounts to illegal gambling” [RCR Wireless]
(Photo: Jeff Kubina)