Rich Rezler Nov. 25, 2014, 1:27pm

A Florida man is suing a fantasy sports website for allegedly misleading consumers by falsely saying it would match a new member's initial deposit of up to $200.

In a class-action lawsuit filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, plaintiff Joshua Carroll claims FanDuel Inc. used false or misleading advertising and caused monetary damages based on breach of contract.

The suit alleges that FanDuel uses a complicated formula that does not match any amount deposited as promised in its advertising. 

FanDuel offers consumers an opportunity to pay entry fees to play one-day fantasy sports games and takes a percentage of each pot as a fee for hosting the game. The lawsuit cites television commercials in which FanDuel uses terms such as “Deposit now, and we’ll match up to 200 bucks, dollar for dollar;” “double your deposit with promo code …;” and “deposit is 100% matched.”

The lawsuit claims rather than matching the new member's deposit, the website uses a formula that releases 4  percent of the entry fee during each contest entered. Instead of a $200 deposit resulting in $400 in a member’s account, a consumer receives a bonus of $8 if he enters a $200 contest.

A consumer would have to spend $5,000 in contest order fees to receive a match of its initial $200 investment, the lawsuit claims.

Carroll started with a $25 initial deposit to FanDuel. When he spent that $25 on contests, FanDuel released $1 of his bonus. The lawsuit said Carroll had to invest an additional $600 before FanDuel would release its promised $25 bonus.

Carroll is seeking damages, plus interest and attorney fees, as well as an injunction against FanDuel to prohibit additional advertising. 

Attorneys Edward H. Zebersky and Philip A. Gold filed case number 1:14-cv-24431-JAL on Nov. 20. This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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