A sports bettor wasted little time in filing a federal lawsuit in Illinois, claiming FanDuel provides incorrect information that misleads gamblers when making in-game wagers.
Andrew Melnick filed the suit in the US District Court for the Illinois Northern District on Tuesday, one day after the University of New Orleans played at Incarnate Word in men’s college basketball.
According to the lawsuit, Melnick said he started his FanDuel account last week and focused his betting strategy on in-game totals on college basketball games. Totals are wagers where the bettor picks whether the combined teams’ scores will go over or under a certain amount.
In in-game wagers, sportsbooks will adjust totals and other betting markets based on several factors, including score and time remaining. While not disclosing what games he wagered on, Melnick said he bet the under on games. He said he lost more than $50.
It was after those losses that Melnick said he discovered FanDuel’s “real-time information… was repeatedly false.” He indicated that the sportsbook’s platform was understated and made the under bets more attractive than they really were.
Melnick seeks class-action status for his lawsuit, saying bettors have lost millions as a result of FanDuel’s practices.
Suit Says Odds Skewed by Inaccurate Data
The file includes screenshots of FanDuel’s platform focusing on the second half of the New Orleans-Incarnate Word game. He took both images about a minute apart.
The first at 8:52 pm CT shows New Orleans leading 71-57 with six minutes left – the app does not list minutes and seconds. FanDuel oddsmakers set at total at that time to 158.5. However, according to the official play-by-play from the Incarnate Word athletics department, the 71-57 score occurred with 7:57 remaining, and with the clock stopped, Incarnate Word would add a free throw at that time.
The score at 6:59 was 76-60. At 6:00, it was 78-60.
A minute later in real-time, 8:53 pm CT, Melnick took another screenshot. This one showed the score as 74-58 with eight minutes left in the game. That score occurred with 7:48 remaining. The live total at that instant was 160.5.
The final score ended up being 88-72, a total of 160 points. So someone betting the under at 8:52 would have lost while the person betting a minute later would have won.
The accuracy of the real-time information provided by FanDuel on its platform and displayed at the time Plaintiff placed his live wagers was critical to the determination of the risk and reward associated with a given wager and whether to place his bet on the ‘Over’ or the ‘Under’ option,” the lawsuit states.
The next day – the same day as the lawsuit was filed – Melnick said he tried to contact FanDuel’s customer service to report the “unfair and deceptive acts” and receive a refund. That did not happen. He then wrote to FanDuel, again on the same day as the suit was filed, to opt out a section of the sportsbook’s terms that require arbitration for disputes and a waiver on class-action claims.
FanDuel Terms in Question
FanDuel’s terms are in dispute because the lawsuit claims the sportsbook has selected New York for its jurisdiction. The complaint states New York has “little or no connection” to the case.
In the federal case, Melnick claims FanDuel’s practices violate consumer protection laws in the 10 states where it offers mobile sports betting. He seeks an order banning FanDuel from what he called its “deceptive” practices. In addition, the suit seeks restitution, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and interest on any amounts awarded.
A FanDuel representative told Casino.org the company had no comment on the case.
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