Eye-popping point spread
In July, FanDuel bettors took advantage of an incorrect line on a Major League Soccer game to rack up over $200,000 in winnings. As of this week, they have yet to either receive their earnings or have their bets voided and refunded.
Between July 12 and July 15, more than 50 keen-eyed FanDuel sportsbook customers at the Meadowlands in New Jersey and the Blue Chip Casino in Indiana noticed that the point spread for the July 16 match between FC Cincinnati and Atlanta United was unusually large. Most books had Atlanta as about a one-goal favorite, but FanDuel had the team at -5. As such, the bettors put their money on Cincinnati, getting five goals.
As MLS games often don’t even seen the total number of goals reach five, the bet was nearly a sure thing. Cincinnati won outright, 1-0, and almost every wager won. The only ones that did not were parlays that had legs that did not come through.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) and Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) are investigating the matter.
Even a supervisor permitted bets
Most of the bets were placed online, but at least a couple were actually made in-person at a betting window. One set of bets was made by Daniel Leavey, who told ESPN that he was at the Meadowlands with his father on July 12 when he saw the MLS line of Cincinnati +5 at just -134. He placed a sizeable $5,360 with a teller, who got approval from a supervisor. The supervisor proceeded to ask Leavey if he wanted to make another wager, so he did, putting another $4,640 on the underdog.
When Leavey went back to the FanDuel sportsbook on July 16 to collect, he was told that the bets from that game were being held and that he would be called when things were settled.
“They’ve held it for nearly three weeks with no communication,” Leavey told ESPN.
Another customer at the Blue Chip Casino took it a step further, including FC Cincinnati in a number of parlays. According to ESPN’s sources, he made the bets at the self-serve kiosks and won over $60,000.
FanDuel’s communication was better in this case, as a representative twice called the customer before he tried to cash the ticket to tell him that the bets would be cancelled.
Regulations not always definitive
As for what the actual regulations say on how this situation should be handled, it differs in each state. In Indiana, the rules are pretty straightforward, saying that a sportsbook can void a bet “in the event of obvious error, at the certificate holder’s or vendor’s discretion.”
And though this is the case, the matter is still being investigated by the IGC, seemingly as a standard course of action.
In New Jersey, the regulations read, “A wagering operator shall not unilaterally rescind any wager pursuant to this chapter without the prior approval of the Division.”
So, it appears that FanDuel can void the bets…eventually. As long as the NJDGE gives the company the ok. FanDuel’s own terms make it clear that if a bet is at odds that are “materially different from those available in the general betting market at the time the bet was made,” then it can void the ticket or give a payment that reflects the proper odds. Again, though, it has to run it by the NJDGE.