Two Professional Sports Bettors Accuse William Hill US of Dishonest In-Game Betting Practices

  • William Hill is accused of delaying, then canceling in-game bets that favor the customer
  • The sportsbook vehemently denies any charges of impropriety
  • Many bettors believe it’s just a flawed system and instant confirmation would be better
Man yelling into a phone while holding a second phone
Two professional sports bettors have accused William Hill US of impropriety in delaying in-game wager confirmations. [Image:]

Problem with bet confirmation delay

In-game sports wagers are very much dependent on timing and a sportsbook’s technological capabilities. It is the former that two well-known Nevada sports bettors pointed to recently in accusing William Hill US of not playing fairly.

cancels wagers if it perceives the customer to have an advantage

What Bill Krackomberger and Rufus Peabody claim (though Peabody said it has never personally happened to him) is that the William Hill sportsbook intentionally delays the acceptance of in-game bets and cancels wagers if it perceives the customer to have an advantage.

Krackonmberger went so far as to tweet that players should only make in-game bets on William Hill in Nevada during commercial breaks so no game events could give the sportsbook an excuse to change the lines or cancel bets.

William Hill has denied the allegations, telling Sports Handle that Krackomberger’s accusations are “absolutely outrageous”. The sportsbook company added: “To criticize us is fine, but to accuse us of cheating is not.”

Sportsbook accused of intentionally canceling bets

Krockomberger also told sports betting media outlet Sports Handle that William Hill is the only Las Vegas sportsbook to hold in-game wagers for a short time for verification. “What that does,” he said, “is it gives them a chance to look at your bet then check to see if they are in line with the market.”

He went on to say that William Hill can use the delay to see if the next play will hurt or help the player, and then cancel the wager if the play works in the customer’s favor.

In-game wagers are exactly what they sound like: bets made during the game. Sportsbooks will post ever-changing odds on any number of things, like which team will win the game, which team will win the quarter, fluctuating point spreads, and player props. Speedy bet processing is important, as odds and outcomes are constantly changing as the game progresses.

Though Peabody said he has not witnessed the specific issue Krockomberger is complaining about, he knows people it has happened to. He also claims to have “experienced a lot of other shenanigans over the years” at William Hill.

Or just an imperfect system

Most people who have chimed in on social media agree that William Hill’s holding of in-game bets for verification is a problem, but at the same time they disagree that it is necessarily anything nefarious. It is more likely just a perception problem.

waiting a few seconds to confirm bets isn’t necessarily an uncommon practice

Ed Miller, a sports betting and poker expert and author of a number of well-regarded books, told Sports Handle that William Hill’s policy is likely biased against the better customer wagers simply because of the way it is constructed. He said that waiting a few seconds to confirm bets isn’t necessarily an uncommon practice, though William Hill’s tends to be longer, as much as eight seconds.

“Then any time the operator’s traders (or the traders at the third party line providers in many cases) make a line change, all the bets sitting in the queue (on any side or proposition) get rejected,” Miller explained. The longer the time it takes to confirm bets, the stronger the bias against the player, since it will result in more favorable lines getting rejected. Miller believes the fairest product would have zero delay.

Another professional sports bettor told Sports Handle that he believes it is just an “inefficient” process, but not cheating, as it affects all customers the same way regardless of whether the line was favorable or not.

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