MANHATTAN (CN) - The New York State Division of Lottery and Scientific Games conspired to steal a company's "Bling Bling" lottery concept for their "Bada Bling" scratch-off ticket, after pretending to reject the idea as "too ethnic," Gameologist Group claims in New York County Court.
The Atlantic City-based plaintiff says it bought the idea from a slot-machine technician named Jeffery McGill, who realized he needed corporate backing to get the idea off the ground.
Gameologist allegedly developed a series of casino-style games based on the Bling Bling mark, including a Bling Bling slot machine and a Bling Bling casino table game.
The company shopped the idea at a trade show and eventually struck a deal with MDI Entertainment, a subsidiary of Scientific Games, the lawsuit claims.
MDI's president allegedly mentioned that the New York State Lottery was interested in a "bling-bling" scratch-off lottery ticket.
In a 2004 press release describing its deal with Gameologist, MDI defined "Bling Bling" as a "four-year-old expression whose origin can be traced to hip-hop music and the young adult, urban market."
"In March 2004, despite the wide publication and circulation of the news of the contract between Gameologist and Scientific," the lawsuit claims, "Scientific mysteriously canceled the contract."
It told Gameologist that it was concerned that its customers would reject the term "Bling Bling" as "too ethnic" and called the game "racially inappropriate."
Gameologist says it heard a similar spiel from the New York Lottery, which feigned a lack of interest among target groups.
A few years later, however, the Lottery began selling scratch-off tickets called "Bada Bling," which were "almost identical to the Bling Bling lottery ticket that Gameologist designed and developed," the lawsuit claims.
The plaintiff wants an order preventing the defendants from infringing on its marks, plus an accounting of all profits, disgorgement and damages.
It is represented by Craig Lanza with Balestriere Lanza PLLC.
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