$10,500 missing digit
BetMGM is out over five figures after a typo in a January NFL betting line allowed a few bettors to take advantage of a too-good-to-be-true opportunity. On top of that, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) fined the gambling operator $500 for “the failure to properly display a market in violation of a Division requirement.”
the market ended up as whether or not the two players would pass for at least “00” yards
The football game was an AFC matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the defending Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. The bet in question was a player prop bet having to do with the team’s respective starting quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes. What BetMGM intended to offer was a bet on whether or not both quarterbacks would throw for 300 or more yards in the game. Instead, the person who entered it into the system forgot the lead digit, so the market ended up as whether or not the two players would pass for at least “00” yards.
As often happens, the error was spotted quickly and corrected, but not before some customers found it. Five BetMGM bettors and four Borgata Online customers put money on the zero yards prop bet and profited to the tune of $10,500.
BetMGM didn’t wait for an investigation
Sportsbooks almost always have clauses in their terms and conditions which say that they have the right to cancel bets if they are clearly posted in error. Such mistakes are called “palpable errors” or “palps.” BetMGM reported the issue to New Jersey regulators and asked permission to void the bets, since there was no question the operator did not intend to post such a ridiculous prop bet, but the DGE required BetMGM to wait until after an investigation.
a small price to pay for the goodwill
Rather than waiting for the DGE to render a verdict, BetMGM simply opted to make the customers’ days and pay off the winning bets. The company confirmed this week that it paid. Though $10,500 is a lot of money to most people, it is chump change to a major sportsbook, so it was likely a small price to pay for the goodwill.
BetMGM did void bets last summer
Last summer, BetMGM was able to save money by voiding bets on what would have been a $200,000 mistake. With most sports on pause in the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, bettors turned to Korean and Chinese baseball for their betting needs.
BetMGM offered many different bets on KBO League and Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) games that started between 1am and 2am Pacific time. The operator, however, inadvertently left a number of wagers open well past the games’ start times one night, allowing bettors to make lucrative parlay bets on games which were already half-over. Not all of the bets were guaranteed to win, but the “past-posting” provided customers with a massive advantage.
Approximately 50 bets were placed at the self-serve kiosks at the Bellagio and on BetMGM’s mobile app. One of the bets was $250 on a ten-leg parlay that won $137,000.
After an investigation, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) ruled in favor of the operator, allowing BetMGM to void that night’s tickets.