Fantasy-sports gaming site FanDuel Inc. was sued by Washington Redskins football player Pierre Garcon over the use of his name and image, which he claims was done without his permission.
The site, where people bet on the outcome of individual professional sports players’ performance for a chance to win millions in prizes, is already under scrutiny after allegations some gaming sites’ employees used inside information to gain advantage in the contests.
DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel, the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a person familiar with the probe, and are facing calls for congressional hearings. They could also face scrutiny by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over possible violations of consumer-protection laws, according to former lawyers for the agency.
Garcon and his lawyers accused the Manhattan-based FanDuel of exploiting him and other National Football League players to grow its business. He seeks to represent every NFL player to appear on a team roster whose name or likeness has been used by the company since 2013.
FanDuel “engaged in these actions without my consent and without proper licensing rights,” Garcon said in a statement issued by his attorneys. “As a result of these activities, FanDuel daily fantasy contests have shown increasing revenues leading to large profits.”
FanDuel said the lawsuit is without merit.
“There is established law that fantasy operators may use player names and statistics for fantasy contests,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “FanDuel looks forward to continuing to operate our contests.”
Garcon, 29, is in his eighth season in the NFL. He was the league’s reception leader in 2013 with 113. He also played for the Indianapolis Colts. who drafted him in 2008.
The case is Garcon v. FanDuel Inc., 15-cv-03324. U.S. District Court, District of Maryland (Greenbelt).
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