Arkansas Class Accuses FanDuel of Deceptive Advertising

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (CN) – A class of Arkansas fantasy sports players accuses FanDuel of bait-and-switch advertising for running a series of TV ads that they say falsely claimed the company would match new subscriber deposits.

Lead plaintiff Chad Parnell says he deposited $200 into a new FanDuel account based on an advertisement promising it would match first-time subscriber deposits up to that amount.

FanDuel didn’t match his deposit and intentionally deceived him and other Arkansas residents, according to his class action filed Thursday in Garland County Circuit Court.

Parnell says the company’s advertisements promoting its online fantasy sports game instructed him and other class members to go to its website and enter a particular promotion code in order to receive the matching $200.

“The television ads were false, deceptive, unconscionable, and operated as ‘bait and switch’ advertising, because they made an attractive, but insincere offer as FanDuel did not intend to match the initial $200 deposit with another $200,” the complaint states. “Although plaintiff and class members were new subscribers and deposited $200 into the new account, FanDuel did not match the plaintiff’s or the class members’ deposits.”

A FanDuel spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday.

Parnell and the proposed class seek damages for claims of deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment. They say the New York-based company knew the advertisements were deceptive, and that its misconduct was “excessive and unreasonable.”

“Defendant will be unjustly enriched if it is allowed to retain such funds,” the June 22 lawsuit states.  “Plaintiff and each class member are entitled to an amount equal to the amount defendant has been unjustly enriched.”

Parnell is represented by Scott Poynter with the Little Rock law firm Steel, Wright, Gray & Hutchinson PLLC.

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