Cincinnati line almost a sure thing
Another betting line error leading to the potential of hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts is under investigation in two states. Both the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) and Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) are looking into what happened with a line mistake on a Major League Soccer (MLS) game at the FanDuel sportsbook in mid-July, as well as why customers have not been paid their winnings or refunded their bets.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, between July 12 and July 15, more than 50 bets were placed on an MLS game between the Atlanta United and FC Cincinnati when bettors noticed an “alternate” line of Cincinnati +5. The consensus spread at other books was Cincinnati +1.
Tens of thousands of dollars were bet on the “too good to be true” line.
Tens of thousands of dollars were bet on the “too good to be true” line. Nearly every bet won – some exceptions were parlays – resulting in FanDuel facing a hit of more than $200,000. The problem is, as of early this week, customers have not seen a dime of their own or FanDuel’s money.
New Jersey bettor still in the dark
In New Jersey, ESPN gave the example of Daniel Leavey, who was at the FanDuel sportsbook at the Meadowlands with his father on July 12. He saw the inflated line of Cincinnati +5 (-134) and placed a $5,360 bet at the counter with a live teller. A supervisor approved the wager and then asked Leavey if he wanted to make another bet. So he did, to the tune of $4,640.
Cincinnati won outright, 1-0.
Upon returning to the Meadowlands to pick up his winnings, Leavey was told that the money was being held and that someone would give him a call. He still has not been contacted.
looking at earnings of more than $60,000
It was a similar situation at the FanDuel sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino in Indiana. One bettor, in particular, used the self-serve kiosks to place several parlays that included Cincinnati +5. He won them and was looking at earnings of more than $60,000. FanDuel contacted the bettor over the phone before he cashed his ticket, telling him that the bets would be cancelled because of the line error.
State regulations vary
In Indiana, regulations state that “in the event of obvious error,” a sportsbook can cancel and refund a bet. That appears to be what will happen with the Blue Chip Casino customers, but Jenny Reske, deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, told ESPN that the situation will still be reviewed to see if “potential action” must be taken.
The rules in New Jersey are a bit more vague, as there is not a specific process for how to handle a betting line error. The regulations say, “A wagering operator shall not unilaterally rescind any wager pursuant to this chapter without the prior approval of the Division.”
And that is what is happening right now. The NJDGE is reviewing the case, but has yet to provide any public comment.
The delay in a decision is not sitting well with Daniel Leavey, who told ESPN, “At some point, they need to bear some responsibility. I wonder if Atlanta would’ve won 6-0, if I would have received a call to refund my bet.”
FanDuel déjà vu
FanDuel ran into the same problem in September 2018, just months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA. Late in a game against the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos, down by 2, reached the 18-yard line. FanDuel’s system at the Meadowlands mistakenly changed the odds of Denver winning to 750-1; the team should have been a -600 favorite, as they were in easy field goal range.
Anthony Prince quickly placed a $110 bet at the counter with about a minute left. Brandon McManus made the game-winning field goal, and Prince had an $82,610 winning ticket.
But because of the pricing mistake, FanDuel refused to honor the bet. A couple days later, after consultation with the NJDGE, FanDuel decided to pay Prince and anyone else who was able to take advantage of the line error, which was up for all of 18 seconds.