Fliff California Lawsuit – $5M Illegal Betting Class Action

Fliff, known as a social sports prediction platform, is under legal fire due to accusations of operating as an online sportsbook. The app operates under the sweepstakes model, meaning that you cannot deposit and bet with money directly, and you can also win real money for free.

Many online casino, bingo, and poker websites successfully apply the sweepstakes framework and operate legally in the US, but apps like Fliff, which offers sports betting, seem to transgress the legal limits.

Does Fliff Offer Real Sports Betting?

No, Fliff does not offer real sports betting. However, the ongoing lawsuit in California is crucial for how the state law will look at Fliff.

If we compare the Fliff app to traditional online bookies, then it indeed does not offer sports betting. What it does offer, however, is the chance to win real prizes while betting with “Fliff Cash” with one Fliff Cash being equal to 1 USD.

This is what actually draws legal attention to Fliff in the state of California. The local jurisdiction, which outlaws online sportsbooks, states for a website to be considered a “sweepstakes”, it needs to offer prizes “by lot or chance“, which is not the case with Fliff.

When using the app, you can check out the odds, as with any online sportsbook, pick your preferred outcome of an event, and either win or lose. The fact that you bet with Fliff Cash instead of fiat money does not make the rewards model neitherlot“, nor “chance“.

fliff sweepstakes casino app homepage

Fliff Spirtsbook App

Is Fliff Legal in California?

The short answer is that it depends. There is an ongoing class lawsuit against Fliff that would determine its legality in the state.

Based on the analysis in the previous section, giving a straightforward answer would be a difficult task. The legal challenges that Fliff faces root in determining to what extent sports betting requires a higher amount of skill for predicting an outcome, compared to the casino-style games other sweepstakes brands offer.

The position that the law will take regarding this inquiry would determine the future of many other sites utilizing a prediction model, not only in the state of California.

Prop 27

In November 2022, Californians voted against Prop 27, which aimed to legalize online sports betting in the state. Interestingly enough, only 16% of the local residents supported the election. This makes all stakes placed on the outcome of any sports event illegal.

The Class Action Lawsuit

Bishoy Nessim, the person who filed the class action lawsuit, lost around $7,000 on placing bets on Fliff. Dennis Stewart filed the case at the US Central District of Califonia Court in Riverside.

Nessim is after $5,000,000 from Fliff for all Californians affected by Fliff, including himself. He has to prove to the court that the lawsuit should be classified as a class action.

How Could Fliff be Affected?

The $5 million dollar amount the plaintiff seeks from Fliff might be the least damage to the company.

For the time being, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the case and whether it could challenge sweepstakes betting and gaming sites in general. We will monitor the progress of the case and update the topic with all relevant news.

Fliff Users in Ohio Can No Longer Make Purchases

On June 1, 2023, Fliff stopped accepting purchases in Ohio, as the app was reported as an unregistered sports betting website. Sports gambling and sweepstakes are both legal in the state, but sports bookies need to be registered as such to be allowed to operate.

If you are from the state, you will only be able to earn Fliff Cash if your bankroll hits zero. At this point, you will receive free virtual funds only through social media promotions, as stated in the “Sweepstakes Rules” page on the brand’s website.

With a potent blend of lived experience and technical expertise, Stephen Naumov stands as a distinctive voice in Mr. Sweepstakes's content team. Born in the historic city of Sofia, Bulgaria, Stephen studied economics at New Bulgarian University and also enriched his expertise by becoming a software engineer at the renowned Telerik Academy.