NJ Man Says FanDuel Won’t Pay; Company InvestigatingBy Jill R. Dorson | Published: September 18, 2018 at 2:22 pm
A New Jersey man says he made a wager on Sunday at the FanDuel SportsBook at the Meadowlands Racetrack and that FanDuel won’t pay up. The bet, an in-game wager, would have paid $82,610 on a $110 wager and was made with 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining in the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders contest.
Anthony Prince, the bettor in question, apparently was not the only one to receive a ticket with erroneous odds. Prince took his story to News12 in New Jersey Tuesday morning. FanDuel spent much of Tuesday investigating the error and offered this statement late in the day:
The wager in question involved an obvious pricing error inadvertently generated by our in-game pricing system. Specifically, near the end of the Sunday afternoon game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, the odds for the Broncos (who had the ball and were trailing by two points at the time) to win were +340 (bet $100 to win $340). The next play, the Broncos completed a 26-yard pass to position themselves to attempt a 36-yard field goal to take the lead in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, clearly positioning the Broncos as the favorite to win.
At that moment in the game, our system updated the odds and erroneously posted a price of +75,000 on the Broncos to win the game (bet $100 to win $75,000) when the correct odds for the Broncos to win the game at that point in time were -600 (i.e., bet $600 to win $100). A small number of bets were made at the erroneous price over an 18-second period. We honored all such bets on the Broncos to win the game at the accurate market price in accordance with our house rules and industry practice, which specifically address such obvious pricing errors. We have reached out to all impacted customers and apologized for the error.
FanDuel’s House Rules: Erroneous Bets Caused by Technical or Human Error Do Not Have to Be Honored at Incorrect Odds
According to in-house regulations, FanDuel is not required to pay out on Prince’s ticket, at least not at the +75000 odds. Like any other gaming company, FanDuel has rules to cover faulty bets caused by technical and human errors.
The FanDuel Sportsbook House Rule Part B, Section 13 – Errors, reads:
FanDuel Sportsbook makes every effort to ensure that it does not make any errors when accepting bets. However, if as a result of technical or system problems or human error, a bet is accepted that is at odds (which includes handicap provisions or similar) and/or is on terms that are either:
– materially different from those available in the general betting market at the time the bet was made; or
– clearly incorrect given the chance of the event occurring at the time the bet was made including, in either case, because the bet was placed after the start of an event, because the market was not displaying or reflecting in-play status, or because of any other reason, then all bets will stand HOWEVER FanDuel Sportsbook will settle winning bets at the ‘correct price’.
– The ‘correct price’ will be determined by FanDuel Sportsbook (acting reasonably).
Based on those rules, which govern any bet made in the FanDuel Sportsbook, the company is only required to pay Prince at the “correct” odds, which were -600 at the time he placed the bet. The company went beyond that, reportedly offering Prince $500 and tickets to three New York Giants games. He declined to accept that offer when it was originally made.
Erroneous NFL Sportsbook Ticket Draws Attention on Social Media and FanDuel Must Figure Out How to Mitigate Negative Publicity.
The story garnered lots of attention on social media Tuesday and FanDuel scrambled to understand what happened and determine how to move forward. FanDuel director of publicity Kevin Hennessy said earlier in the day that the company is “investigating the matter,” and it was clear that the company was still trying to gets its arms around what exactly happened and how to handle the situation.
According to Prince, he placed a $110 in-game wager on the Broncos-Raiders game with less than two minutes to play in the game. The score was 19-17 in the Raiders favor, and he bet the Broncos to win. The cashier printed his ticket, which showed +75000 odds, but the cashier did not catch the error.
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus booted the game-winning 36-yard field goal with six second left in the game. Prince went to cash in his ticket, and the cashier declined to pay.
According to the News12 report, FanDuel admitted the error and offered Prince a $500 payout on his $110 bet, plus tickets to an upcoming New York Giants game. He declined to take the offer.
NJ Gaming Regulations State FanDuel Has 5 Days to Respond to Complaint and It Must File a Sports Betting ‘Incident Report’
The New Jersey Department of Gaming offered little comment on the matter, saying Tuesday that “this matter is under investigation.”
Errors are not uncommon and every casino or sportsbook must handle them. In fact, slot machines have posted signs pointing out that pays and plays are void in the event of a malfunction.
According to the New Jersey Department of Gaming’s Emergency Rules, which went into effect earlier this year, FanDuel had five calendar days to resolve the situation, and that it will be required to file an “incident report.”
From Section 13:69N-1.2(e):
A sports pool operator shall investigate each patron complaint and provide a response to the patron within five calendar days. For complaints that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the patron, related to patron accounts, settlement of wagers, and/or illegal activity, a copy of the complaint and licensee’s response including all relevant documentation shall be provided to the Division or New Jersey Racing Commission as applicable.
And from Section 13:69N-1.7 (b)
In the event of a failure of the sports pool system’s ability to pay winning wagers, the licensee shall have internal controls detailing the method of paying winning wagers. The licensee shall also file an incident report for each system failure and document the date, time and reason for the failure along with the date and time the system is restored with the Division.
FanDuel’s internal procedures on how to handle a technology glitch were not immediately available.
Going forward from a public relations standpoint, FanDuel will have to determine how to best handle the negative publicity that is already being generated. But bigger than that, FanDuel’s risk-management team must determine how the error — technological and human — occurred in the first place, and how to prevent it from happening again.