William Hill Gives $50K to Writing Class Following Copyright Lawsuit Settlement With Rival FanDuel

Posted on: June 25, 2019, 09:40h. 

Last updated on: June 25, 2019, 09:40h.

Sports betting operator William Hill is donating $50,000 to a creative writing class at Rutgers University after settling a copyright infringement lawsuit with rival FanDuel.

William Hill sports betting FanDuel
William Hill said when it came to FanDuel’s sports betting guide for novices, nothing was “reimagined” from its own tutorial. (Image: Mitsu Yasukawa/North Jersey)

Last fall, William Hill sued FanDuel on grounds that the latter plagiarized its “How to Bet Guide” that informs newbies on how the gambling activity works. The UK-based company said in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court of New Jersey that is was seeking damages from FanDuel “for willful copyright infringement under copyright laws of the United States.”

The two sportsbook operators settled the case out of court. This week, William Hill said it was giving $50,000 to support Rutgers’ Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. William Hill contended in October that FanDuel simply ripped off its sports betting introductory guide.

The similarities were many, William Hill CEO Joe Asher explaining, “We are not litigious people, but this is ridiculous. If the court finds in our favor, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities.”

The two guides were nearly verbatim in explaining sports betting. And hypothetical matchups were also the same. William Hill presented a point spread featuring the Washington Redskins playing at the Philadelphia Eagles at 1:00 pm. FanDuel’s guide presented the exact same scenario.

New Jersey Battle

William Hill operates sportsbooks at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park Racetrack and Atlantic City’s Ocean and Tropicana casinos. FanDuel is responsible for sports betting at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Both additionally operate online.

Sports betting went live in June, and since then Garden State operators have taken nearly $3 billion in wagers.

FanDuel has emerged as the dominant market leader in New Jersey. Through the first six months of 2019, the former daily fantasy sports heavyweight has won more than $53.4 million at the Meadowlands and via mobile.

William Hill reported sports wagering revenue at its three land-based casinos and online book of $15.25 million.

William Hill Expands

The US’ largest sports betting business, William Hill continues to expand its operations in wake of the Supreme Court’s May 2018 repeal of the federal ban that had previously limited full-scale sportsbooks to Nevada.

This week, the company announced a partnership with the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico to handle its sports betting operations at the Native American group’s Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. It will mark William Hill’s first deal in New Mexico, and the company’s first tribal agreement outside of Nevada.

The tribal casino is a three hours’ drive southeast of Albuquerque.

New Mexico is one of seven states that has joined Nevada in getting sports betting operational since the SCOTUS decision. The state is only home to tribal casinos – not commercial venues.

The Santa Ana Star Casino was first to reach a sports betting partnership. Nevada-based USBookmaking is handling its sportsbook operations.