William Hill filed a civil complaint against FanDuel in a New Jersey federal court on Tuesday, saying that their competitor committed copyright infringement in the creation of a sports betting guide being distributed at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

William Hill FanDuel Lawsuit
William Hill is suing FanDuel for copyright infringement, saying that the FanDuel Sportsbook offered a sports betting guide to patrons that was a direct copy of their own pamphlet. (Image: Ed Scimia/OG News)

According to William Hill, a guide to sports betting that is available at the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack features sections that are nearly identical to their own booklet on the topic.

Identical Passages Still Include William Hill Name

In fact, the complaint highlights some sections of the FanDuel guide that are identical to the William Hill pamphlet. In some cases, whomever created the new version seems to have neglected to change the names appearing in the text.

FanDuels unauthorized copying is perhaps most evident in the fact that FanDuel actually forgot to remove William Hills name when printing the Infringing Pamphlet, the complaint reads.

This is illustrated in a side-by-side comparison of the two documents. Both of them have a section that reads alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game.

William Hill has also pointed out that their version of the guide was released nearly a month before the FanDuel Sportsbook opened, showing that they were the ones that created the document in the first place.

We are not litigious people but this is ridiculous, William Hill CEO Joe Asher said in a statement sent to multiple media outlets. If the court finds in our favor, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities.

William Hill is seeking damages and injunctive relief in the case. FanDuel has yet to comment on the matter.

While this latest issue isnt directly related to their betting operations, it could give New Jersey regulators another reason to take a closer look at FanDuel. Though they have only been offering sports betting for a matter of months, the daily fantasy sports operator has already been at the center of two wagering controversies.

First, there was the night in May in which the sportsbook closed before the end of a late MLB game, causing some bettors to be unable to cash their winning tickets a situation that was particularly problematic for those who were traveling the next day.

A highly publicized issue came up in September, when a brief error offered bettors outrageous odds on the Denver Broncos to kick a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of their game. While FanDuel initially refused to honor those winning tickets at the printed odds, the company eventually relented, awarding more than $130,000 to the handful of players who placed winning bets during the 18-second glitch.

FanDuel, DraftKings Win Major Ruling in Indiana

While the copyright infringement case may seem open and shut, FanDuel had its share of positive legal news this week as well.

On Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that FanDuel and DFS rival DraftKings had the right to use the names and statistics of college football athletes without their consent, due to the fact that those stats have news value.

This information is not stripped of its newsworthy value simply because it is placed behind a paywall or used in the context of a fantasy game, wrote Indiana Supreme Court Judge Steven H. David. On the contrary, fantasy sports operators use factual data combined with a significant, creative component that allows consumers to interact with the data in a unique way.