Illinois Man Files Suit Against FanDuel On Claim Of ‘Misleading’ Live Betting Info

Posted on March 3, 2021
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Written By on March 3, 2021

An Illinois bettor is suing FanDuel for allegedly displaying incorrect live betting data.

The suit was filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

In it, Deerfield bettor Andrew Melnick claims FanDuel regularly showed the wrong amount of time remaining in games. He says that caused him to place bets on live totals that he wouldn’t otherwise have placed.

The Illinois sports betting market began using mobile apps in 2020.

What’s in the FanDuel suit?

The suit reads in part:

“After placing a number of the live Wagers, made after the start of the particular sporting events, and losing over $50, Plaintiff discovered that the purportedly real-time information provided to him on the FanDuel platform was repeatedly false and materially so.”

It said the platform frequently understated the time remaining in NCAA basketball games by 5-35%.

That made live unders appear to be a far better bet than they actually were, Melnick said.

Is there any evidence?

As evidence, the suit includes two screenshots of the New Orleans v. Incarnate Word college basketball game on FanDuel on March 1, 2021.

The first image at 8:52 pm shows six minutes left in the game. The second image, taken one minute later, shows eight minutes left in the game.

Melnick said scores were also frequently incorrect, although no further evidence is provided.

The suit goes on:

“As a result of the above-mentioned deceptive, dishonest and unfair pattern and practices of FanDuel, Plaintiff and, upon information and belief,
hundreds of thousands of other members of FanDuel, have lost millions of dollars in wagers.”

The sportsbook’s customer service did not help with the issue, Melnick said.

What does Melnick want?

The class-action suit calls for unspecified damages and wagers to be repaid to Melnick and “thousands” of others. It was filed by Chicago-based attorney Voelker Litigation Group.

The filing also calls for FanDuel to stop operating until its app accurately reflects the time remaining in a given live sporting event.

A FanDuel spokesperson did not comment on the suit when contacted by LSR.

The Flutter-owned brand is the largest US sportsbook in the market, with about 40% online share. That included more than than $6 billion in stakes at FanDuel Sportsbook in 2020.

Quick data is key for betting industry

Sports law professor Ryan Rodenberg said the suit highlighted the importance of accurate real-time data for the integrity of the betting market.

“This lawsuit also shows why a single source of real-time information has huge integrity risks,” Rodenberg said.

The NCAA of course does not have an official betting data partner. That means data scouts are likely “scouting” off the TV feed or a stream rather than being in-stadium. That can bring significant delays. COVID has arguably worsened this issue, with no fans and therefore scouts in stadiums.

What next for FanDuel case?

As for the case, the first hurdle for Melnick will be whether he can avoid the mandatory arbitration clause in the FanDuel terms of use.

An arbitration clause requires the parties to resolve their disputes through an arbitration process.

“There are a lot of interesting aspects to this case,” Rodenberg said. “But FanDuel will focus on the arbitration clause to try to make sure the interesting aspects never proceed.”

Saiber attorney Jeremy Kleiman also said it was difficult to predict an outcome.

“This could have been a one-time glitch with the data feed, rather than a pattern and practice of intentional deception,” Kleiman said. “It’s hard to say where this goes.”

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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