William Hill US has settled its lawsuit against competing sportsbook operator FanDuel over alleged copyright infringement relating to a betting guide distributed at the Meadowlands racetrack.
The lawsuit, which has been settled for an undisclosed fee, alleged that FanDuel’s “how to bet” guide was identical in both its text and diagrams to the guide created by William Hill.
One of the key passages in the guide featured the wording: “Alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game,” suggesting that passages had simply been copied and pasted from the William Hill guide.
Court documents pointed out entire blocks of text contained in its guide that feature verbatim within the FanDuel version. The fundamental difference between the two guides was the typeface used.
In addition to the text, William Hill claimed that the FanDuel guide contained diagrams illustrating betting and odds possibilities which appear to be identical to the images in the Hill’s guide.
It has been reported that the money received as part of the settlement will be used to fund the development of creative writing programs at universities across New Jersey, as well as initiatives that tackle problem gambling.
The legal wrangle is a key example of how brands are still battling to establish a prime spot in the newly liberated US sports betting space. And it could well set a precedent for betting operators to follow William Hill’s lead with similar lawsuits to protect their brands, IP and market share.