Court dismisses lawsuit against NBC game show

ATLANTA --- Georgia's highest court on Monday threw out a lawsuit contending that NBC's Deal or No Deal violated state anti-gambling laws when it invited viewers to play a game via text message.


The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Michael and Michele Hardin, who wanted NBC to repay them and other state residents for the cost of sending 99-cent text messages in hopes of winning a prize on the hit show's "Lucky Case Game."

The game challenged at-home viewers to guess which of six on-screen gold briefcases was the lucky case.

The couple's lawyer, Jerry Buchanan, called the game an illegal gambling operation and said state law allowed residents to retrieve money because "gambling contracts are void."

NBC attorneys said the game was just a promotional tool.

In its ruling Monday, the court said the text messages cannot be classified as a bet or a wager, and the state law "offers no avenue of recovery to plaintiffs."

The suit did not indicate how much the Hardins or others might have spent on the game. Calls to Mr. Buchanan and Joe Loveland, an attorney representing NBC, were not immediately returned.