On April 2, 2021, Casino Queen, Inc., and Casino Queen Marquette, Inc. (“Plaintiffs”) on behalf of itself and others similarly situated, represented by Shannon Marie McNulty of Clifford Law Offices, filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against Scientific Games Corporation (“SGC”), Bally Technologies, Inc. (“BTI”), and Bally Gaming, Inc. (“BGI”) (collectively, “Bally”) (collectively, “Defendants”) seeking damages and decree for unlawful conduct of monopolization of the market. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with Judge John F. Kness presiding.
In its complaint, the Plaintiff has alleged that “the automatic card shufflers used at casinos through Defendants’ abuse of the patent system and judicial process to exclude and drive out competitors from the market. The Defendants which manufacture and sell fully automated card shufflers under the Shuffle Master, DeckMate, and Bally names, procured patents by fraud and then asserted those patents in sham lawsuits against competitors, which effectively excluded competitors from the market and caused Plaintiffs and others similarly situated to pay more for automated card shufflers than they otherwise would have in a competitive market.1 Defendants’ alleged misconduct constitutes a violation of Sections 2 and 3 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 2, 3).”
The Plaintiff has further alleged that “Plaintiffs, direct purchasers of automated card shufflers, and others like them have suffered as a result of Defendants’ monopolization and exclusion of competitors, forcing their direct customers—purchasers and lessees (collectively “direct purchasers”)—to pay supra-competitive prices for automated card shufflers while Defendants collect monopoly rents.” “Defendants first achieved complete monopolization of the relevant market on or around March 16, 2009, when SHFL, after suing and acquiring CARD, acquired the shuffler assets and patents of its only remaining competitor, VendingData.” “The demand for card shufflers is generally limited to professional casinos, the number of which is strictly regulated. Virtually all of these casinos feature card games and virtually all of them possess card shufflers. As described above, there are no adequate substitutes for automatic card shufflers, and the market demand is inelastic. There are high barriers to entry, and Defendants’ use of sham litigations has driven potential competitors from the market, leaving Plaintiffs and the class with limited options in procuring automatic card shufflers for their business.”
There is one claim for relief laid down by the Plaintiff, i.e., alleged monopolization in violation of Sections 2 and 3 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 2, 3). Defendants allegedly willfully acquired and maintained their monopoly over the relevant market by committing fraud on the USPTO to procure patents and by enforcing those invalid and unenforceable patents against would-be competitors in sham litigations. Defendants’ alleged assertion of knowingly invalid, unenforceable and non-infringed claims was for the purpose, and with the effect of, substantially lessening competition and attempting to create, and creating, a substantial restraint on trade and an actual monopoly in the relevant market described above.
In its prayer for relief, Plaintiff has requested the Court to adjudge that the action may be maintained as class action under Rule 23(a) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court may adjudge and decree that Defendants’ unlawful conduct alleged herein constituted a violation of Sections 2 and 3 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 2, 3) along with damages, grant injunctive relief against the Defendants as well as treble damages, and also grant costs of litigation.
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Pending - Other Pending
Other - Antitrust
John F. Kness
Casino Queen Marquette, Inc. on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated doing business as Casino Queen Marquette
Casino Queen, Inc. on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated doing business as DraftKings at Casino Queen
Scientific Games Corporation
Bally Gaming, Inc. a Nevada corporation doing business as Bally Technologies formerly known as Bally Gaming and Systems formerly known as SHFL Entertainment, Inc. formerly known as Shuffle Master, Inc.
Shuffle Master, Inc.
SHFL Entertainment, Inc.
Bally Technologies, Inc. a Nevada corporation doing business as SHFL Entertainment or Shuffle Master
Bally Gaming and Systems
Shannon Marie McNulty
Attorney at Clifford Law Offices
120 North Lasalle Street, Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60602
Civil Cover Sheet
Docket(#3) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ORDER: Case reassigned to the Honorable John F. Kness for all further proceedings. The Honorable Ronald A. Guzman no longer assigned to the case. Signed by Executive Committee on 04/28/2021.(gw, ) (Entered: 04/29/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
DocketCASE ASSIGNED to the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman. Designated as Magistrate Judge the Honorable Jeffrey Cole. Case assignment: Random assignment. (mp, ) (Entered: 04/05/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#2) ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs Casino Queen Marquette, Inc., Casino Queen, Inc. d/b/a DraftKings at Casino Queen by Shannon Marie McNulty (McNulty, Shannon) (Entered: 04/02/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT filed by Casino Queen Marquette, Inc., Casino Queen, Inc. d/b/a DraftKings at Casino Queen; Jury Demand. Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0752-18086417. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(McNulty, Shannon) (Entered: 04/02/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
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