A proposed class-action lawsuit has accused user-generated “metaverse” company Roblox of profiting from and aiding third-party websites that use the platform’s Robux virtual currency for unregulated gambling activities. According to the lawsuit, the companies named, Satozuki, Studs Entertainment, and RBLXWild Entertainment, allow users to link a Roblox account and convert their Robux balance into credits at these gambling sites.
These credits act as virtual casino chips that can be used for wagers on these sites, from Blackjack to “coin flip” games. If a player wins, they can transfer their winnings back to the Roblox platform in the form of Robux. The gambling sites use fake purchases of non-valuable “dummy items” to facilitate these Robux transfers, and Roblox takes a 30 percent transaction fee from both players “cashing in” and “cashing out” from the gambling sites.
The lawsuit also states that the gambling websites use the Developer Exchange Program to convert their Robux balances to real money. It is alleged that over 7 billion Robux (worth around $70 million) was wagered on one of the sites in 2021 and that its revenues increased ten-fold in 2022. Influencers are said to have been employed to promote the sites on social media.
Roblox’s terms of service forbid “experiences that include simulated gambling, including playing with virtual chips, simulated betting, or exchanging real money, Robux, or in-experience items of value”. However, the gambling sites are able to bypass this by hosting their games away from Roblox’s platform while still using Robux transfers to take advantage of players’ virtual currency balances from the platform.
In a statement, Roblox said that “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.” They also stipulate that individuals must be at least 13 years old, file any necessary tax paperwork (in the US), and have a balance of at least 30,000 Robux (currently worth $105, or $0.0035 per Robux) to be able to convert Robux back to actual money through the Developer Exchange Program.