In a civil complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in New Jersey, bookmaker William Hill is accusing competitor FanDuel of copyright infringement in regard to a betting guide being distributed at the Meadowlands Racetrack sportsbook.
William Hill, which operates the sportsbooks at Monmouth Park racetrack and Ocean Resort Casino in New Jersey, is seeking damages and injunctive relief after discovering that FanDuel's betting guide included identical wording from parts of the "How to Bet Guide" published by William Hill on June 5, 2018. FanDuel opened the sportsbook at the Meadowlands in mid-July, when it began offering the betting guide in question to customers.
The complaint highlights several sections of FanDuel's guide that appear to be identical to William Hill's, including a paragraph that reads, "Alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game."
"FanDuel's unauthorized copying is perhaps most evident in the fact that FanDuel actually forgot to remove William Hill's name when printing the Infringing Pamphlet," the complaint alleges.
In addition, the complaint claims that language on websites controlled by FanDuel also is copied from William Hill, which cited eight articles as examples.
"We are not litigious people but this is ridiculous," William Hill CEO Joe Asher said in a statement to ESPN. "If the court finds in our favor, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities."
FanDuel, citing company policy, declined comment.
FanDuel, which was purchased this spring by European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair, has had to deal with multiple controversies since it opened its sportsbook at the Meadowlands. In September, after initially refusing to honor wagers placed on erroneous live odds on a Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders game, the company ultimately decided to pay out more than $130,000 to customers.
ESPN senior writer Darren Rovell and contributor Ryan Rodenberg contributed reporting to this article.