Hills sues US rival FanDuel for copyright breach

Operator accused of replicating William Hill's novice betting guide


William Hill US has filed a civil suit against FanDuel in New Jersey federal court, accusing the company of copying its betting guide for novice punters in the US. The case relates to the ‘How to Bet Guide’, published by William Hill US in June. Hills said that a similar guide released by FanDuel included identical wording from its own document. In its complaint, Hills highlighted a number of sections in Paddy Power Betfair-owned FanDuel’s ‘How To Bet Guide’ where this is the case, including a paragraph that reads: ‘Alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game’. Hills said in the complaint: “FanDuel’s unauthorised copying is perhaps most evident in the fact that FanDuel actually forgot to remove William Hill's name when printing the Infringing Pamphlet.” In a statement issued to ESPN, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher (pictured) added: “We are not litigious people but this is ridiculous. If the court finds in our favour, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities.” William Hill operates sportsbooks at both Monmouth Park and the Ocean Resort Casino in New Jersey, while FanDuel runs the sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, where its own guide was distributed. FanDuel, which has so far declined to comment on the allegations, has become a major player in US betting since its launch over the summer, vying with DraftKings to be New Jersey’s leading operator in recent months. FanDuel last month agreed to pay out on bets placed at erroneous odds during an NFL game after it became the subject of an investigation by New Jersey’s gambling regulator.

FanDuel initially said it would not pay out to customers who took odds of 750-1 on the Denver Broncos converting a 36-yard field goal. It said a field goal from that distance has approximately an 85% chance of success “so the astronomical odds offered on something highly likely to occur was very obviously a pricing error”.

Image: William Hill