Vegas Bettors Pounce on Starting Time Error, Hit Home Runs on International Baseball Parlays

Posted on: July 2, 2020, 02:59h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2020, 09:29h.

Some Las Vegas bettors found a way to lock in a huge edge on their baseball parlays earlier this week by taking advantage when BetMGM posted incorrect start times for Korean and Chinese games.

Asian Baseball parlays BetMGM
Warwick Saupold of the Hanwha Eagles pitches during a 5-1 loss to the Lotte Giants in a KBO League game on May 16, 2020. (Image: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty)

On Sunday morning, bettors could put money down on games in the KBO League and the Chinese Professional Baseball League hours after teams had taken the field.

Dozens of Bets Posted After Games Start

But a manual entry error led to the incorrect start times in the BetMGM software. Most of the resulting past-post bets were made at self-bet kiosks in the Bellagio sportsbook.

The games in the Asian leagues began at 1 am and 2 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) Sunday morning. But bettors placed wagers on those games as late as 3 am PST, long after the action in the first few innings had changed the odds.

By 2:30 am PST, the NC Dinos had taken a 3-0 lead over the Doosan Bears in the fifth inning. That made it easy for gamblers to pick both the Dinos (-110) and the under (nine runs) on a number of tickets, with a huge edge over the sportsbook. Both of those bets held up, as the Dinos won 5-0.

Those and other late bets appeared on about 50 questionable wagers, a source told ESPN. That included a 10-spot parlay that paid out over $137,000 on a $250 bet. ESPN reported that bettors won nearly $250,000 on suspicious late bets.

None of the bets were guaranteed winners, though bettors had a massive advantage. One of the wagers of the 10-leg parlay was a bet on the total in a CPBL game between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Uni Lions, which started at 2 am The bettor took the under at 15 runs. The score was 10-2 in the sixth inning, but neither team plated a run over the final three innings, keeping the parlay alive.

Report: Investigation Opened into Baseball Parlays

The Nevada Gaming Control Board hasn’t commented on the situation. However, ESPN’s source says that gaming regulators have opened an investigation into the matter.

Some bettors have already posted pictures on Twitter of tickets they say they’ve cashed. Gaming regulations make it difficult for sportsbooks to do anything about the bets unless the Control Board weighs in first.

“A book may not unilaterally rescind any wager without the prior writer approval of the Chair,” states Regulation 22.115.

One anonymous executive from a Las Vegas sportsbook told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that books had to do a better job of protecting themselves by making sure their data was correct. However, he showed little sympathy for the bettors, saying authorities would definitely identify and prosecute them.

“This was like going to the casino cage and sticking a gun in their faces,” the executive told the Review-Journal. “What these guys did was pure theft.”

ESPN cited a source as saying that the investigative process will likely result in the Gaming Control Board discussing the case. Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan would then determine whether or not to void the bets.