As the July 3 deadline for a response to the class-action complaint against social sportsbook Fliff approaches, neither it nor co-founder Matt Ricci have responded. The original June 28 deadline was pushed back due to a court order, according to PlayUSA, but Fliff can request more time.
The complaint, filed with the US District Court for the Central District of California, alleges players in Fliff’s free-to-play sweepstakes will not win anything of monetary value unless they deposit real money. Due to sports betting being illegal in California, this would violate several state and federal gambling laws.
Bishoy Neshim, the plaintiff, claims he lost over $7,000 using the app and is seeking $5 million in damages for himself and others similarly affected. The complaint also calls for Fliff to cease offering the conduct that is the subject of the lawsuit. Neshim claims Fliff operates as an illegal online sportsbook:
“Alleged sports prediction games are nothing more than online sports gambling. 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law, the option to bet with ‘Fliff Cash,’ which has a dollar-for-dollar equivalence to actual money and that can be withdrawn and wired directly to users’ bank accounts. That’s the epitome of an online sportsbook.”
If Fliff fails to respond by the deadline, it could face court action.
What Fliff is facing
Fliff faces an uphill battle with a lawsuit on its hands. The case was filed in Riverside County by attorney Dennis Stewart. Stewart asked for a jury trial in the filing, which is where the first big problem for Fliff arises. Riverside County is home to many Native American tribes, such as the Pechanga. The tribe was a key player in the fight against Proposition 27.
Proposition 27 was a failed attempt to legalize California sports betting. California voters, by a wide margin, voted against it in the November 2022 General Election.
To make matters potentially more difficult for Fliff, the case was randomly assigned to Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykes, a member of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
What is Fliff?
Fliff is a free-to-play social sports betting social game. It aims to take the financial loss out of sports betting by making it a fun and social experience. The social sportsbook is available to play in 49 states. Only users in the US are eligible to redeem prizes, outside of the following states:
- South Carolina
The app features two forms of in-game currency, Fliff Coins and Fliff Cash. Fliff Coins have no real monetary value, while Fliff Cash has a 1:1 dollar ratio, which can be withdrawn from bank accounts.