FanDuel Refuses to Pay out Winning Sports Bet in New Jersey, Regulators Investigating
Posted on: September 19, 2018, 11:33h.
Last updated on: September 19, 2018, 11:33h.
A New Jersey sports bettor who laid 110 bucks on a Broncos game thought he’d won $82,000 when Denver came back to beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, but it turns out the odds on offer were too much of a good thing.
Now, FanDuel — the newly formed sportsbook which took the bet in the Garden State — is declining to pay out the winning ticket.
Sports bettor Anthony Price told a local New Jersey news outlet that he’d made a live, in-game bet from the Meadowlands on Sunday. He did it while the Broncos were down 19-17 to the Raiders, with just over a minute left in the game. It’s not clear whether the bet was made from one of the 10 betting windows at the stadium, or from FanDuel’s mobile app.
The odds on offer from FanDuel at that time were an incredible +75,000, meaning his $110 ticket was good for a cash of $82,610. But after Brandon McManus booted the winning field goal for Denver, Prince got the bad news.
“They said their system had a glitch in it and they’re not obligated to pay for glitches,” Prince told New Jersey News 12.
Price says FanDuel tried to make good by offering him tickets to three New York Giants games, as well as $500 in cash, but he’s not satisfied.
The government is taxing it now so I thought it would be a better situation. You’d rather go to the corner bookies now. You’re not getting paid here,” Price said after the outcome.
It’s the first major controversy to surface since the state legalized sports betting back in June.
Punters across the pond are probably having a good laugh at this story. That’s because in the UK — where sports betting his been legal since 1961 — such a story wouldn’t be considered controversial at all.
Odds glitches are so common there that they’ve even been given a name: palpable errors, or “palps” for short, and such bets are usually voided. It’s a fact of betting life that many have taken to Twitter to point out.
Pretty well established that books don’t have to pay out clearly erroneous lines.
— You’re a Strange Kid, Kekambas (@Kekambas10) September 18, 2018
In the more mature sports betting market of Las Vegas, it’s a slightly different situation. Any disputed “palp” bets are reviewed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which renders the ultimate decision on whether or not it will be paid out.
Slot machines in Las Vegas have for years carried the caveat that machine malfunctions void jackpot payouts, so the US precedent for gaming industry glitches does exist.
Fight Goes On
But FanDuel’s in-house rules clearly state that when bets on a palpable pricing errors are made, “bets may be settled at the correct price at the time at which the bet was placed.”
And the jilted bettor isn’t taking FanDuel’s decision lying down. He’s filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), which has the power to “compel” FanDuel to pay out the bet.
NJDGE spokesman David Rebuck told the Associated Press that the matter is under investigation. He says the DGE is not only looking at whether the bet should be paid out, but “just as importantly, how it occurred, given internal controls exist to prevent such an error.”
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