Following DraftKings’ water-shed Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC), a handful of delayed bets, and an apology, participants are now seeking to sue the sportsbook for failing to run events as advertised.
DraftKings: A Quick Background of the National Sports Betting Competition
Last week, DraftKings set up the inaugural Sports Betting National Championship (SBNC), a new concept putting daring sports aficionados with a flair for betting against each other for an opportunity to add hefty $1 million in prize money.
The event itself seemed exciting enough to attract 260-odd participants willing to pay the entry fee of $10,000.
All would have gone well hadn’t it been for an extended game between the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers, which effectively blocked some players from betting on the following match between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans.
Following an apology and a promise to handle things better in future, DraftKings considered the case closed, but trouble has since stirred.
DraftKings Faces a Lawsuit
On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed with the New Jersey Superior Court by New York resident Christopher Leong. Mr. Leong claimed damages of at least $300,000, citing the sportsbook’s negligence in the matter, particularly the part where some participants had been able to continue whilst others had to forfeit.
Mr. Leong outlined several main problems with the now concluded Sports Betting Championship:
- Crediting money to certain accounts quicker than others, betraying an unconscionable commercial practice
- Accepting wagers in a manner described as “capricious and arbitrary”
- Lacking clear guiding principles in determining the format of the entire competition
The lawsuit has been based on NJ’s Consumer Fraud Act, with Mr. Leong’s citing the sportsbook’s manage and pay out wagers. Speaking of the “arbitrary” nature of bet settling, Mr. Leong claimed that people who were attending DraftKings’ NJ headquarters had their wagers intentionally set quicker.
I have no involvement with the class action at this time. https://t.co/E4thRcOtPx
— Rufus Peabody (@RufusPeabody) January 17, 2019
Mr. Leong is also the first to seek a legal recourse whereas Rufus “Opti5624” Peabody, the main contender in the race, got his funds locked after the New England Patriots game, with the sportsbook failing to pay him out on time. Peabody did cash out $81,891 game, but wasn’t allowed an opportunity to pursue his betting further.
Represented by the VerStandig Law Firm, Mr. Leong will seek a refund of his $10,000 stake, citing multiple setbacks experience throughout the competition along with up in $334,000 in damages.
DraftKings Pays in Person Quicker Than Online
Based on Mr. Leong’s civil complaint, he successfully placed & won a bet on the Indianapolis Colts’ player Marlon Mack, who met the conditions of the bet, leading to an opportunity for the plaintiff to cash in.
With the game settled at 7:44 PM ET, Mr. Leong’s bet wasn’t settled until 9.22 PM, after which he visited the NJ’s main office of the company, at which point his bet was settled within minutes.
Mr. Leong has fired off the first legal salvo, it’s not unlikely to see more participant gear up for fighting DraftKings in court in the coming days and weeks.
DraftKings hasn’t found itself in similar trouble recently.