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Scientific games subsidiary hit with $315 million penalty

Scientific Games’ subsidiary Shuffle Master faces a $315 million penalty following this week's finding by a US judge that it launched a sham lawsuit in 2012 against rival card-shuffling provider Shuffle Tech (since bankrupt) to damage the firm.

The Guardian newspaper reports that Scientific Games is to appeal the court's finding, which concluded that Shuffle Master was guilty of sham litigation based on fraudulent patents, in order to secure a commercial monopoly.

The report notes that a jury awarded $105 million in damages to the plaintiffs, who were funded by major anti-FOBT campaigner Derek Webb (68). The penalty was tripled to $315 million due to a US legal system in which awards are multiplied if the plaintiff is deemed to be assisting the US government in the prevention of anti-competitive behaviour.

The Guardian reports that Shuffle Master offered to settle the case, but the plaintiffs rejected the offer as being too low.

Webb, who funded the litigation and the successful anti-FOBT campaign by the Fairer Gambling activist group in the UK, stands to make millions from his investment in the case.

This is not the first time he has benefitted from funding litigation; he reportedly made $20 million from a dispute linked to Three Card Poker, a game he invented and sold to casinos.

Webb made $23 million selling his casino gaming company Prime Table to Galaxy Gaming.

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