US Sportsbook Operators Suffer Outages on Day of Super Bowl LV

  • App and kiosk issues forced BetMGM to keep its Nevada retail sportsbook open until 1am
  • FanDuel and DraftKings experienced issues prior to kickoff, preventing bet placement
  • DraftKings blamed a “surge in traffic” and stressed the importance of in-house technology
  • The Super Bowl proved successful for big bettors, with the three highest bets placed on the Bucs
upset sports fans at a sports bar
BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings all experienced outages on Super Bowl Sunday, causing various issues for sportsbook customers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Issues on game day

US-based sportsbook operators BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings all experienced technical difficulties in the hours surrounding one of the most popular sporting events on the calendar: the Super Bowl.

BetMGM suffered an outage of its Nevada-based sportsbook kiosks and mobile app during Sunday’s big game, which saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. BetMGM notified its customers of the issues via its Twitter page shortly after the game’s end:

Meanwhile, FanDuel and DraftKings both experienced outages before the Super Bowl kicked off. Customers were unable to access either operator’s mobile sportsbook during the buildup to the game. Both gambling companies blamed a surge in traffic for the technical difficulties.

BetMGM has a late night

Four hours after its initial tweet announcing the technical difficulties, BetMGM notified customers that it had settled all winning bets placed via its mobile app in Nevada. This did not include bets placed at its retail sportsbooks, however, which still required settlement.

Continued issues forced the company, owned by MGM Resorts and Entain, to keep its retail sportsbooks open until 1am on Monday in an effort to settle all bets. The operator also said it would open again later that morning at 7am. As of yet, the operator has not announced whether it has settled all kiosk bets.

BetMGM has had some recent bouts of technical issues. The operator launched in Michigan for the first time last month, but its mobile app experienced technical glitches, hampering its performance on launch day. The operator blamed high user traffic for the problems, which saw customers unable to access free bets from welcome offers.

Pre-game problems

In the hour preceding kick-off, both DraftKings and FanDuel experienced issues with their mobile apps. DraftKings’ technical difficulties saw customers unable to place bets or view betting history. Meanwhile, FanDuel customers in Michigan and Illinois were unable to log in and place wagers.

FanDuel took to Twitter to apologize to its customers just before kickoff on Sunday:

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY Sports, DraftKings director of communications Stephen Miraglia said the issues resulted from a “surge in traffic that caused problems for our backend provider.” Miraglia said the outage demonstrated the importance of owning in-house technology.

Successful Super Bowl for big bettors

Prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday, the American Gaming Association (AGA) predicted 23.3 million Americans would bet a total of $4.3bn on the game. AGA CEO Bill Miller said it would be the “largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history.”

the three bettors generated $6.1m in profits

The full betting figures are not yet available, but the largest three bets placed with US sportsbooks all favored the victorious Bucs, with a combined stake of $6.8m. In total, the three bettors generated $6.1m in profits from their winning wagers.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale placed the largest bet on the 55th Super Bowl. He wagered $3.46m on DraftKings’ mobile sportsbook last Wednesday as part of a promotion for his furniture store. The prolific sports bettor took home a profit of $3.46m after the Bucs lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the second time on Sunday.