Social sportsbook app sued over “illegal gambling” in California

Updated June 11, 2023
Updated June 11, 2023By Chris Boline
california betting news june 203

In the Golden State, one resident is taking aim at an online sportsbook app and claims there is a fault for “illegal gambling” via sports betting. Per one report, Fliff, a “social sportsbook” available in 49 states, is under fire for allegedly “masking online sports betting as a free-to-play sweepstakes” in California. The class action complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleges Fliff’s “sweepstakes” players stand to win nothing of monetary value unless they deposit real money. This, in turn, violates multiple state and federal gambling laws. According to the report, the plaintiff, Bishoy Neshim, claims he lost over $7,000 using the app. That said, he is seeking more than $5 million in damages for himself and those similarly affected by what he claims is an illegal online sportsbook. 

For this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming out of California along with more notes about Golden State gaming. 

Lawsuit alleges that Fliff app is clandestine sports betting

According to the same article, California is one of 45 states where Fliff users can withdraw real money from “sweepstakes” contests that resemble the lines on different sports events on other apps. This includes online outlets like DraftKings and FanDuel. Per its website, Fliff says that “social sports betting, like a social casino, is different from gambling, and is a play-for-fun form of entertainment.” Moreover, the website also says that Fliff uses sweepstakes as a “promotional tool that allows our customers to play and win gift cards and cash prizes.”

However, the complaint disagrees with the legality of the overall Fliff concept. It calls Fliff’s “sweepstakes” model a “lure” that reels customers in with free “Fliff Coins” and then baits them into playing with real money aka “Fliff Cash.” In this scenario, the “Cash” can then be withdrawn at a 1:1 dollar ratio to a bank account. Users at that point can win virtual currency convertible into money or prizes for free, but they can also directly deposit money to do so. The complaint goes on to further state that “Fliff gives every user, regardless of local, state, or federal law, the option to bet with ‘Fliff Cash’ which has a dollar equivalence to actual money…that’s the epitome of an online sports book.”

Complaint also notes state voting down sports betting

Per the report, the lawsuit against Fliff also notes that Californians voted against legalizing sports betting in November of last year. Also, with this being the case, this would make wagering on the result of any sporting event illegal in California. The complaint then asserts that Fliff does not satisfy the state’s definition of a “sweepstakes” because it does not distribute prizes “by lot or chance.” In addition to monetary relief, the lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop Fliff from offering its contests across state lines, an alleged violation of the federal Wire Act. In addition to this lawsuit in California, another report says that Fliff faces potential legal consequences in Ohio where regulators are cracking down on unregistered sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports apps. 

More notes and information about California sports betting

Once you are all caught up to speed regarding the latest wagering news in the Golden State, SBS has you covered with all kinds of fantastic additional resources. If you are in need of more information regarding the state at hand, make sure to check out our California sports betting guide which covers the latest gaming and gambling news coming out of the state. Moreover, also given the topic of the article, if you would like to stay on top of mobile wagering then the SBS best betting apps rundown is a great page to peruse. Here you can learn a ton of great information about the nuances of mobile betting. Finally, if you are perhaps uncertain which payment options are the best for you, then the SBS payment methods breakdown is a must-read with all kinds of withdrawal and deposit option suggestions. 

1
Bovada-logo
BTC Accepted
50% bonus up to $1,000

Bonus

$ 1000
Play Now
2
BetOnline-logo
BTC Accepted
50% bonus up to $1000

Bonus

$ 1000
Play Now
3
BetUS-logo
BTC Accepted
125% up to $2,500

Bonus

$ 2500
Play Now
4
MyBookie-logo
BTC Accepted
100% bonus up to $1000

Bonus

$ 1000
Play Now
5
Xbet-logo
BTC Accepted

Bonus

$ 500
Play Now

About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

Read Chris's Profile

Ask Chris about this guide:

Email Twitter