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FanDuel Accused of Delaying App Scores to Entice Losing Bets (1)

March 2, 2021, 9:43 PMUpdated: March 2, 2021, 10:39 PM

FanDuel was sued in federal court Tuesday by a user of the gambling app, who says the platform delays real-time scoring data and causes bettors to lose more money.

“While purporting to provide its customers with real-time, live sports game data, FanDuel regularly understates the time remaining in live sporting events to induce its customers to make wagers they are more likely to lose” than if they were being provided accurate, real-time information, the complaint alleges.

The proposed class action, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges the online gambling company engages in unfair and deceptive trade practices. The complaint alleges violations of various states’ consumer protection laws.

The named plaintiff seeks damages for himself and an order halting FanDuel from operating until its app “accurately reflects the time remaining in a given live sporting event.”

Andrew Melnick alleges he made a number of wagers that the combined score of two competing men’s college NCAA basketball teams would be less than a given number based on the information provided on the FanDuel platform, known in gambling parlance as the “under.”

Although the time remaining in the game is “critical to the determination of the risk and reward associated with a given wager,” he later learned that the time is “frequently materially understated on the real-time display on the FanDuel platform,” the complaint alleges.

And in some instances, the score reported on the FanDuel platform was inaccurate, according to the complaint.

The balky data caused him to bet the under and lose, when he wouldn’t have otherwise placed the bet, the complaint says.

Cause of Action: Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act; New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law; West Virginia Consumer Protection Act; Indiana Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Act; Iowa Consumer Fraud Act; Colorado Consumer Protection Act; Tennessee Consumer Protection Act; Virginia Consumer Protection Act of 1977; Michigan Consumer Protection Act; breach of contract; unjust enrichment.

Relief: Injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Potential Class Size: Although the exact number of class members is unknown, there are more than 6 million members of the FanDuel platform and App, the complaint alleges.

Response: FanDuel didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys: Daniel John Voelker in Chicago represents the proposed class.

The case is Melnick v. Betfair Interactive US LLC, N.D. Ill., No. 21-cv-01178, 3/2/21.

(Updated with additional reporting beginning in fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at PHayes@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com

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