Fliff Sportsbook is Facing a Class Action Lawsuit in California for Violating the State’s Unfair Competition Law
The renowned sweepstakes sports betting app Fliff social sportsbook is facing a class action lawsuit in California for violating the state’s Unfair Competition Law along with the Federal Wire Act. The suit, formally filed on June 6th, alleges that the app operates as a working sportsbook in the state — something that is currently illegal under California state law.
California File Class Action Suit Against Fliff
The lawsuit states the following:
“Fliff facilitates the ability for California residents to make online sports wagers to win real money without any approvals, regulations, oversight, or taxing. To avoid any regulation or oversight, Fliff claims to be a free-to-play operator of sweepstakes with the chance to play ‘sports prediction games’ for entertainment.”
These “sports prediction games”, however, are effectively a series of odds markets that people can use in-app cash to wager on.
Whether it be a straight spread bet or a 10-game parlay, people who have the Fliff app have the ability to place a wager so long as they have a debit or credit card enrolled with the platform.
example of a bet slip on Fliff
Fliff bypasses local regulations by branding the money within their app as “Fliff Cash”.
Fliff cash has a 1-to-1 exchange rate with the US dollar and can be withdrawn as such. As the suit describes:
“Indeed Fliff gives every user regardless of local, state, or federal law, the option to bet with Fliff cash which has a dollar-for-dollar equivalence to actual money and that can be withdrawn and wired directly to the users bank account.”
Anyone Can Sign up and Play with Fliff Cash
Moreover, Fliff sportsbook does not require individuals to provide their social security number upon registration — making it impossible for the app to verify the age of a new user. Though they do ask for one’s age, SSN is not required to take advantage of cash accrued from sign-up bonuses.
This a departure from the regulation process that other major sportsbook apps, such as be DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, or BetMGM, are required to go through when it comes to verifying an individual’s age before allowing them to take advantage of any signup bonuses.
That said, to make withdrawals on Fliff, individuals will need to provide requisite information such as their social security number to prove their age.
Operator Now Faces Felony Charges
Under California’s anti-bookmaking legislation, anyone found guilty of unlawful bookmaking and wagering is subject to a felony charge.
A company with a development hub based in Bulgaria, Fliff’s website states that they are “sports betting reimagined” and that individuals can take advantage of “Daily login bonuses and daily rewards”.
One of the first images the app’s website displays is a picture of a phone screen with Week 1 NFL odds clearly displayed. Now available in over 42 states Fliff has reimagined social sports betting. The question for the operator now is not one of functionality, but rather one of legality.
The Riverside Federal Court is expected to hear arguments over the coming weeks and months.