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Boston Globe countersues online-betting marketer over failed boston.com betting-info site

The Globe is betting it has a better case than the company it had a deal with to turn part of boston.com into a sports-betting hub - and has responded to the company's suit over the hub's collapse with a counter-suit of its own.

In its counter-complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Boston Globe Media Partners says it dedicated a dozen employees - and hired a new one - to staff its planned boston.com betting page, at which readers could try to garner enough info to make wagers via links to actual betting sites.

And it had signed a deal with Better Collective, which has its US headquarters in New York, under which the company would pay the Globe $1.25 million a year in exchange for providing the stories and data betters would want, in exchange for which Better Collective would have the right to sell the ads and links to sites where visitors could actually place bets, with the Globe getting a fee for each clicked link.

But, the Globe alleges, Better Collective screwed everything up: It failed to provide the information the Globe needed to maximize marketing of the site - down to not providing the Globe hyperlinks to betting information for the sub-site, never mind the sort of articles the Globe was hoping would appear directly on it, which the Globe says the company mostly failed to provide.

The Globe alleges that Betting Collective agreed to provide up to 300 betting-related articles for the sub-site when it launched last fall and up to 60 new articles a week.

But, at the time of the launch, BC had provided just a single article for uploading to the Betting Hub. BC's generation of articles continued to be abysmal, averaging substantially less than the 60 weekly articles it had promised.

Just as bad, the Globe alleges, Better Collective began insisting the Globe engage in various "unscrupulous activities," including publishing sponsor-written content on the rest of boston.com's sport section - without identifying it as sponsor written - and use "prohibited practices" to try to goose the site's rankings on search engines. All this was compounded by the state Gaming Commission developing regulations that would bar practices that might deceive visitors about the source of information on Web sites, which the Globe says the company was well aware of, since it was involved in lobbying against them.

Also, the company provided "wildly inflated" estimates to the Globe on how much the could expect to earn above the $1.25 million annual fee through readers clicking on links to wagering sites, the Globe charges.

On March 15, Betting Collective pulled out of what there was of the site.

The Globe is seeking the $1.75 million it says Better Collective owes it for the remainder of its contract, times three.

Globe answer to Better Collective suit and its counter-complaint (7.7M PDF).



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b4 going 2 court

Voting closed 2

Would be so cool if DraftKings etc. let you place bets on the outcomes of lawsuits!

Voting closed 2

I wonder how long this arrangement was in the works, and if it extends back to a point in time before Major League Baseball was so comfortable with the gambling industry. Would John Henry have gotten himself in trouble, having a business arrangement (for one of his lesser businesses) with a gambling business?

Voting closed 1