Caesars Sportsbook Facing New York Lawsuit Over Risk-Free Language

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 6, 2023
Caesars Sued New York Sports Betting Language

Caesars Entertainment has found itself in a legal battle against New York residents.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Caesars Sportsbook over the alleged use of misleading advertising and promotional language. Specifically, the lawsuit targets the use of terms such as “risk-free” and “free” bets.

The New York sports betting case names plaintiff Lachae Vickers v. defendant Caesars Entertainment.

New York sports betting lawsuit details

A portion of the 25-page document reads:

“Caesars Sportsbook has become an industry leader in part by making untruthful and deceptive promises to lure new bettors; specifically, by advertising that the company will provide new users with a $1,000 or $1,250 or even $5,000 “free bet,” “risk-free bet,” or a specified amount “on Caesars.”

But these promises are far from the truth: the bet is not in any respect “free” or without risk. Plaintiff and other consumers would not have signed up for and made a so-called “free” or “risk-free” bet with Caesars Sportsbook in the absence of these deceptive promises.

Plaintiff seeks actual damages, punitive damages, restitution, and an injunction on behalf of the public to prevent Caesars Sportsbook from continuing to engage in their illegal practices as described herein.”

About Vickers’ lawsuit

In the complaint, Vickers alleges she made a $125 “risk-free” bet on the Caesars sportsbook app. Her understanding was she would receive her money back regardless of the outcome.

However, after Vickers lost her bet, the sportsbook gave her $125 in sports betting credits. These credits need to be used within two weeks.

The complaint reads: “Plaintiff would not have signed up for a Caesars Sportsbook account and made an initial bet had she known the truth about such supposedly “free” or “risk-free” bets.”

Regulators already moving to change promotional laws

In February, the state gaming commission approved new rules restricting advertising, marketing and promotions.

The rules are currently going through a 60-day public comment period. During the 60-day window, regulators can make any necessary changes. However, regardless of public input, regulators get the final say.

Stopping operators from targeting underage bettors appears to be the rules’ primary focus. “A casino sports wagering licensee or sports pool vendor shall not allow, conduct, or participate in any advertising, marketing, or branding for sports wagering that is aimed at persons under the minimum age.”

But there’s more. The New York rules also aim to stop operators from advertising on social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok.

A sports betting bill was also introduced in Congress by Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of New York. Tonko’s bill, the Betting on our Future Act, would ban all sports betting advertisements on any medium in the jurisdiction of the FCC, including TV, radio and the internet.

Although we will see if Tonko’s bill has any weight in Washington, conversations surrounding how operators promote their products are increasing.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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