As long as there have been bans on legal sports betting, operators and entrepreneurs have tried to find legal workarounds to those bans. One of those workarounds, a free-to-play site called Fliff; with in-game currency that can be cashed out for real currency, is being challenged in a California courtroom.
Late last week a man named Bishoy Nessim filed a challenge to Fliff’s business model in the Central California District Court. Nessim’s suit alleges that Fliff cannot operate in California since sports betting is illegal and the only other statute that would cover its operation doesn’t cover Fliff’s model of converting in-game currency into real cash.
Nessim’s complaint suggests that Fliff is merely an unregulated sportsbook that merely makes its customers go through the extra step of converting real cash into Fliff cash.
“Just like in any traditional sportsbook, the user picks the sporting event to bet on based on the published odds of a particular team winning (or the spread, moneyline, or over/under totals). The user then places a bet with Fliff Cash and winning or losing is a function of the outcome of the sporting event and the user’s choices, ie whether they picked the right team or the right odds for that sporting event. There is no distribution of a thing of value ‘by lot or chance,’” the complaint reads.
It’s unclear why Nessim filed the complaint in the first place. But whether he’s an anti-gambling activist with a grudge, or an opportunist seeking some sort of cash settlement, he’s definitely going to be a major headache for Fliff and its business model.