Attorneys for UK bookmaker William Hill have resolved a very odd copyright infringement suit against FanDuel, their number one rival in the budding New Jersey sports betting market, according to a report from the Associated Press. It’s the conclusion to an extremely odd story that neatly illustrates how closely the US sports betting industry resembles the mythic Wild West.

At the heart of William Hill’s lawsuit against FanDuel, which was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair in 2018, is a rather mundane beginner’s guide to New Jersey sports betting the company released last year. What made this guide stand out from all the others is that FanDuel copied almost the entire guide from a guide that William Hill had already released.

FanDuel’s lazy copy writer’s made things easy for William Hill lawyers by not even bothering to remove the company’s name from some passages in the guide. For example, one section of the FanDuel guide contained the phrase, “…professional wagers offered by William Hill.”

Perhaps because their work was made so easy, William Hill’s legal staff took to the lawsuit with a fair amount of that famous British humor. From the beginning, they made it clear that any money they recovered from the legal action would be used to fund a creative writing scholarship for New Jersey university students; and the seem poised to live up to that promise.

Though details of how much the lawsuit was settled for have not been made public, William Hill William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said that the money would, in fact, be used to fund a scholarship. He also said that a portion of the money would be used to fund efforts to fight compulsive gambling.

So far there’s been no public statement from FanDuel as to why the plagiarism took happened in the first place.


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