DraftKings and Florida Bettor Embroiled in $3m Parlay Dispute Over Use of Proxy

  • Operator froze man's account on October 23 after he placed football parlays on October 6
  • Sportsbook prohibits customers from allowing another person to use their account to bet
  • Bettor reportedly had written permission for messenger betting with a Nevada sportsbook
  • He claims to have obtained verbal go-ahead from DraftKings director Avello to use a proxy
  • New Jersey betting rules do not allow the use of another person’s account to place wagers
golden dollar sign frozen inside an ice cube
A Florida bettor is considering pursuing legal action after DraftKings froze $3m worth of parlay bets because he used a proxy to place the wagers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Bettor used proxy to place wagers

A man in Florida who placed $3m parlays through messenger betting is contemplating legal action against DraftKings after the operator froze his New Jersey mobile sports betting account in late October. 

A Sports Handle exclusive report details how the sportsbook operator froze the bettor’s account on October 23, just weeks after he had placed $3m worth of parlays. A proxy based in New Jersey had made two bets containing the same three selections on October 6 on behalf of the unnamed Florida man. DraftKings’ terms of use state that a customer cannot allow another person to use their account to place a bet.

terms of use state that a customer cannot allow another person to use their account to place a bet

Screenshots of a wager for $2.93m and another amounting to $72,490.57 appeared in the report. The parlays had a total potential profit of $5.6m.

The bettor said he felt “horribly wronged” by the sportsbook when it froze his account. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) did not comment on the matter, but a DraftKings spokesperson on Wednesday told Sports Handle: “While this matter is under investigation by the appropriate regulatory authorities, DraftKings has no comment on that investigation.”

Messenger betting is when an out-of-state bettor uses a proxy to place a bet on their behalf in another state, usually where legal sports betting is available.

The three-team parlays

The three selections in the parlay bets were futures wagers on Georgia to capture the SEC East, Alabama to be victorious in the SEC West, and the Green Bay Packers to claim the NFC North. Details of the bets did the rounds on social media, being deemed the biggest parlay that DraftKings director of sportsbook operations Johnny Avello had taken during his 30-plus years in the business. rel=”nofollow noreferrer noopener”

Sports Handle also reports that, since the beginning of the current football season, the Florida bettor has made other notable wagers. They include a $2m money line parlay on two NFL teams that generated over $2.1m in profit, and a $1.48m money line bet on the New Orleans Saints with no opponent specified.

An interesting relationship

The man in question claims to have a relationship with Avello, dating back to when the latter was Wynn Las Vegas executive director of race and sports. He said that over the years, he lost more than $1m through the Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook in Nevada, a state which allows certain forms of messenger betting. He reportedly had written permission to place bets at this sportsbook through a proxy based in the region.

claims that Avello gave him verbal permission to place bets using a proxy at DraftKings

The Florida bettor moved over to DraftKings once Avello joined the operator in October 2018. He claims that Avello gave him verbal permission to place bets using a proxy at DraftKings like he did with the Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook, something which Avello denies.

The legalities of messenger betting

Casino industry consultant Andrew Klebanow says no sportsbook worker can give authorization for messenger betting that supersedes federal or state regulations. An attempt to do so could jeopardize the license of the sportsbook concerned.

Currently, regulations in Nevada allow bettors from out-of-state to use a proxy to place bets provided the proxy does not get financial compensation for doing so. However, messenger betting rules are stricter in New Jersey. Rule 13:69N-1.10 of the state DGE’s Permanent Sports Betting Rules indicates: “No licensee shall knowingly accept a wager from a person on behalf of any other person. No licensee shall knowingly allow a person to make a wager utilizing the account of another person.”

Messenger betting also appears to violate the federal Wire Act, since the activity transmits betting information across state lines with the aim of placing a real money wager.