Social online sportsbook Fliff came under fire recently after a customer accused the company of confiscating nearly $15,000 for winning too much money in a single month.

The controversy began in early October when Twitter user @stupadso posted a thread accusing the company of confiscating $14,722.03, explaining that he ran up an account balance of almost $15,000 in October and attempted to withdraw on the 23rd. The user also claimed that after contacting customer support, Fliff reset their balance to $5,000 and later confiscated that, too.

However, the customer later confirmed they had received $5,000 and were still waiting on the rest. And more recently, Fliff and the customer have confirmed the initial payout, restoration of the account balance, and the ability to withdraw the remaining funds each month.


It’s a serious accusation, but the bettor later confirmed they had received $5,000 of their funds. In addition, Fliff has released a statement covering three important points:

- Fliff is paying the affected player in full

- The law in some states limits the winnings sweepstakes operators may pay to customers in any given period, thus necessitating month-over-month payouts for larger wins – a condition that applies to all sweepstakes sites

- Fliff has taken corrective actions to more prominently explain the monthly payouts rule and ensure users cannot place additional wagers once they have exceeded the monthly payout cap
The Fliff controversy seems to be more of a misunderstanding between two parties, with room for Fliff to improve on how it communicates to users, rather than a true scandal.

For some context, Fliff is a social sportsbook that offers something akin to sports betting, but it leverages a loophole in US sweepstakes law to operate in most states. To put it in simple terms, Fliff essentially offers sports betting but with a few extra steps added in to meet the technical definition of a “sweepstakes” for legal cover. That’s how Fliff manages to operate even in states that haven’t yet legalized sports wagering.

The legality of sweepstakes betting sites hasn’t been tested in court, but that’s the basic idea. One problem with the concept is that the unusual legal situation and lack of regulatory oversight can result in strange business models with varying degrees of security and legitimacy.

In the case of Fliff, the disagreement seems to result from a misunderstanding more than anything else. The company’s terms and conditions regarding payouts aren’t ideal, but sweepstakes law is out of their control. If there’s room for criticism, it’s that Fliff could have explained the maximum payout rule more clearly upfront and engaged more positively with concerned customers.
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