The California lawsuit is a class action suit against Fliff, a sweepstakes sportsbook. It challenges the legality and terms of the site that require all disputes to go through binding arbitration.
Plaintiff Bishoy Nessim has filed in response to Fliff’s claim made last month that the case can’t be pursued by a California court, because he accepted the terms and conditions for the site, which require that matters be arbitrated.
Nessim’s lawyer outlined several reasons for the court to intervene in the case.
“Fliff, Inc. (“Fliff”) is attempting to avoid the merits being heard in this case by this Court. It seeks instead to enforce invalid arbitration clauses that are unenforceable under California law. The California Plaintiff is bringing this case to challenge an illegal sports betting operations under California law on behalf of the proposed class of California Residents,” reads the motion.
“Fliff asks now that this Court force Plaintiff to arbitrate their claims under Pennsylvania law. This Court should deny Fliff’s request. California law is applicable to this dispute under binding choice of law principles.”
The paperwork that Fliff filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates the company’s headquarters is located in King of Prussia (PA) at the Parkway Tower complex, adjacent to Valley Forge Casino.
Nessim claims in the motion that the company has no substantial relationship with Pennsylvania. The SEC documents confirm that the company’s original incorporation was in Delaware. Nessim also suggests that the headquarters of the company is Austin TX. According to his LinkedIn profile, he said that Fliff CEO Matt Ricci lives in Texas. The plaintiff’s evidence also shows that Fliff currently advertises for multiple jobs in Austin.
The motion, regardless of where the company is located, cites the McGill Rule established in McGill V. Citibank which states that arbitration provisions that require someone to waive their rights in order to obtain public injunctive remedies are unenforceable in California.
The motion also argued that California was the right venue to hear the case. The document stated that even though the company’s headquarters is in Pennsylvania, California has laws that are directly in conflict with Pennsylvania’s, because that state regulates and allows online sports betting. (Fliff, however, is not a real-money sportsbook regulated in California).
Now it is up to Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykesto whether the arbitration clause of Fliff’s Terms and Conditions can be enforced.