• AFL players unlikely to follow NFL player’s lead with lawsuit against fantasy sports site, says legal expert

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Tags:

    Different ball game: A lawsuit by AFL players against fantasy sports operators is unlikely, says a legal expert. Photo: Greg NewingtonA lawsuit taken out on behalf of all NFL players against a fantasy sports website is unlikely to be repeated in Australia, says an expert in the legality of sports betting.

    Washington Redskins’ Pierre Garcon last week filed a lawsuit in the US District Court against daily fantasy sports website FanDuel. Daily sports fantasy sites have risen to prominence in the US in recent years, with DraftKings the other major player in the area. Garcon has accused FanDuel of using his name, image and likeness without permission in television advertisements and infomercials.

    Whereas traditional fantasy websites, such as the AFL’s Dream Team, News Corp’s Super Coach or Fairfax’s Ultimate Footy are all built for season-long participation, the daily competitions have gained popularity in the US due to the minimal time commitments required to play them. Games are based around one day or week of a season, with cash prizes available.

    Australia’s first daily fantasy sports website, Moneyball, launched in March. The status of DraftKings and FanDuel is itself controversial, with Nevada last week becoming the first US state to declare the sites gambling operators.

    Australian lawyer Jake Williams cast doubt both on Garcon’s prospects of success, and the chances of a similar action being taken in a major Australian league, such as the AFL.

    “I am certainly not an expert on US intellectual property law but I would say that FanDuel would have to be favoured at this point,” Williams said from Munich. “First Amendment protection goes hand in hand with right of publicity claims, so it won’t be easy for Garcon, especially with regards to his name and statistics.”

    Williams is the legal counsel for Sportradar, the world’s biggest supplier of sports and betting-related live information, odds services and fraud detection. The organisation has been employed by Cricket Australia to help monitor betting trends.

    Contemplating whether an Australian sportsperson could be successful against a fantasy sports website, Williams outlined the differences in the law between Australia and the US. “We don’t have right of publicity laws in Australia like they do in the US. It would need to come along the lines of misleading or deceptive conduct or the law of passing off.

    “The problem is that a player in Australia would need to show some type of misrepresentation and harm. That isn’t very likely, especially given gambling is legal in Australia, it obviously is not in the US so affiliation with it can arguably be seen as damage to reputation.”

    “Moneyball is the FanDuel equivalent in Australia so it would have to be a player suing someone like that. I think the US litigious culture is also a factor that is not as strong in Australia. We don’t think about suing for every little thing … like the US.”

    Victorian Williams is now based in New York, having obtained a masters in international and comparative sports law at St Johns University.

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