Sportsbetting App Fliff Faces $5M Class Action Lawsuit - Newstbt.com
A man from California has brought forward a potential class-action lawsuit alleging that Fliff Inc. is participating in illegal sports betting activities within the state. The lawsuit alleges that the “free-to-play” Fliff app breaches the Wire Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and antit-bookmaking regulations.
The app is available on mobile phones and the company is facing a lawsuit for its ‘free to play’ offer. Bishoy Neshim, the plaintiff, has claimed that he lost over $7,000 using the app and is now seeking more than $5 million in damages for himself and other users who may have been affected. The complaint was filed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and labeled Fliff’s free-to-play business model as “a lure” to attract users with the free option of “Fliff Coins” before switching them to playing with real money (“Fliff Cash”) which can be withdrawn and wired directly to user’s bank accounts. The June 6 filing further seeks an injunction to stop Fliff from offering its contests across state lines, an alleged violation of the federal Wire Act.
Fliff is an online app that allows people to make picks on favorite players and teams without having to gamble with real cash. However, users still have the chance to redeem cash prizes through the app’s sweepstakes model, which is available in all 49 states excluding California, whose voters opted in November 2022 not to legalize sports betting.
Not Just in California, Not Just Fliff
Matt Ricci, Cofounder of Fliff, has yet to reply to enquiries from Casino.org; however, he was formerly cited as affirming that his patrons are not particularly sports bettors, but prefer to play games for fun. A parallel issue in Ohio, flaring up with other free-to-play apps like online sportsbooks, caused the Ohio Casino Control Commission to undertake an investigation of Lucra Sports, Prediction Strike, TeamStake, and Dynasty in May. Henceforth, Fliff refrained from collecting any payments from Ohio customers when the commission commenced to investigate the situation. Since sports betting is legal in over half the US states, plus Ohio, the main features of the eighteen-page accusation against Fliff in California entail perceived similarities between Fliff and sports betting websites for actual cash. For that reason, the debate on the applicability of the Wire Act carries a momentous import. This could propel other class action pursuits as this filing could act as a gauge; still, it is uncertain how far-reaching of an impact this will have on sweepstakes model casinos.
Court observers are not expecting that the plaintiff, represented by Dennis Stewart, former trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, will be granted a jury trial. Companies often opt for settlement if the case against them is not dismissed, so Bishoy Nessim Bishoy will likely have to make a decision before the deadline of June 28, when they are required to respond to the complaint.
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