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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A pair of law firms, including one from South Florida, have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against fantasy sports betting firms DraftKings and FanDuel.
Miami-based Colson Hicks Edison and Lagos & Priovolos filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of two South Florida men as well as similarly situated class members.
The complained alleges that between February 2012 and October 2015 the defendants, FanDuel and DraftKings, engaged in “deceptive and unfair trade practices by allowing an elite group of players to use special computer software to gain an edge over most of the other fantasy sports competitors who patronized the firms’ websites,” according to a press release from Colson Hicks Edison.
“These firms spent millions of dollars in multi-media advertising to lure fantasy sports players with a fair and equal opportunity to win money,” said Ervin A. Gonzalez, counsel for the Plaintiffs along with Colson Hicks Eidson partner Patrick S. Montoya. “But thousands of competitors quickly found the games took place on an uneven playing field.”
Two named plaintiffs from South Florida are seeking to represent the proposed class. Antonio Gomes, a FanDuel player, and Ricardo Alejandro Garcia, who competed through DraftKings, both reside in Miami-Dade County.
The two players allege that they were outmaneuvered by elite players who used “robots,” “spiders,” “scrapers” and “sniping software” to gain a competitive advantage.
According to the press release, the companies allowed these elite players to engage in a practice called scripting, where high volume players used automated processes to expedite multiple entries in a single contest.
“While any player may get lucky on the back of a handful of entries into defendants’ DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s games, over time nearly all of the prize money flows to a tiny elite equipped with elaborate statistical modeling and automated tools that can manage hundreds of entries at once and identify the weakest opponents,” the lawsuit alleges.
Colson Hicks Edison and Lagos & Priovolos will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the law offices of Colson Hicks in Coral Gables.