Attorney Jeff Ifrah quoted by The Action Network in Astros Cheating Scandal Article
January 22, 2020
Such questions could be asked should a class action lawsuit be filed on behalf of bettors who lost money wagering against the Astros on their runs the World Series in 2017 and 2019.
“I don’t think an individual bettor would have standing to bring a class action lawsuit,” Attorney Jeff Ifrah, one of the foremost authorities on gambling law. “Those frustrated fan lawsuits never work. But I do think a government agency or a state attorney general could at least get by attempts at motions to dismiss.”
Federal agencies and state laws often have broad definition of what can constitute fraud and deception, which makes it possible for such a case to pass by initial barriers that has typically stunted unsuccessful cases brought by fans.
Ifrah says the Major League Baseball is more liable than ever before to such a suit because, along with accepting gambling money — mostly in the form of selling its official data to sportsbooks — the league is affirming that its games are fair and uncompromised.
Baseball, as well as other leagues, has asked states to allow them to take an integrity fee for the price of keeping up with the cost of maintaining integrity in the face of more gambling dollars, but it is has thus far been unsuccessful.
“They can’t say, ‘You can’t sue us’ anymore,” Ifrah reasoned. “They’ve been running around state legislatures telling them how they ensure the integrity of the game.”
A class-action suit is still a longshot, but baseball would face significant exposure based on how wide the class was determined to be.