FanDuel Backs Down, Will Pay Full Value on $82K Ticket Despite Error

Posted on: September 21, 2018, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: September 21, 2018, 07:48h.

FanDuel has reversed course and now says it will pay the $82,000 claimed by a bettor who received erroneous odds on a bet placed near the end of Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders.

FanDuel Sportsbook ticket paid
FanDuel agreed to pay a dozen winning tickets that received erroneous odds before Brandon McManus of the Denver Broncos kicked a game-winning field goal against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. (Image: Justin Edmonds/Getty)

The bet, which was placed at the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, came with about a minute left in the game, when the Broncos had the ball but were trailing 19-17 to the Raiders.

A Price Too Good to Believe

Anthony Prince of Newark took that opportunity to bet $110 on Denver to come back and win the game. When his ticket was printed, he was offered odds of 750/1 – an astronomical sum, considering that the Broncos had an excellent chance to kick a field goal to take the lead.

In fact, that’s exactly what happened, as Denver’s Brandon McManus kicked a game-winning field goal to give the Broncos a 20-19 victory. But when Prince attempted to cash his ticket, sportsbook personnel refused to pay the sum, saying that the odds were clearly in error. According to Prince, FanDuel offered to pay him around $500 and give him tickets to three New York Giants games to make up for the error, but he declined the offer.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, FanDuel stuck to its guns, saying that the correct odds on the Broncos should have been -600 – meaning that Prince would have won $18.35 on his bet.

“A small number of bets were made at the erroneous price over an 18-second period,” FanDuel said in a statement. “We honored all such bets on the Broncos to win the game at the accurate market price in accordance with our house rules and industry practice, which specifically address such obvious pricing errors. We have reached out to all impacted customers and apologized for the error.”

FanDuel: ‘This One’s on the House’

But on Thursday, FanDuel backed down from that stance, saying they would pay all impacted customers in full.

“Above all else, sports betting is supposed to be fun,” FanDuel said in a statement released Thursday. “As a result of a pricing error this weekend, it wasn’t for some of our customers.”

While FanDuel pointed out that the odds that Prince and 11 other customers took advantage of were “very obviously a pricing error,” they agreed to resolve the issue in favor of the bettors. The operator said it will also give away another $82,000 this weekend, adding $1,000 to each of 82 randomly selected customer accounts.

“We want sports betting to be fun. So, this one’s on the house,” the statement read. “We are paying out these erroneous tickets and wish the lucky customers well.”

The decision to pay the tickets came after FanDuel officials consulted with New Jersey gambling regulators. Those same regulators said they were “encouraged” by the decision.

“The division will continue to work with FanDuel and the state’s other licensed sports wagering operators to ensure the implementation of industry-wide best practices,” said New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement spokesperson Kerry Langan.

Under New Jersey sports betting regulations, operators are not permitted to “unilaterally rescind any wager … without the prior approval of the Division.” Similar rules exist in Nevada, where bookmakers must contact the state’s Gaming Control Board to investigate the matter before resolving erroneous bets.