On Sunday, multiple bettors thought they had won tens of thousands of dollars through FanDuel after placing live bets during the final moments of the Raiders vs Broncos NFL game. Unfortunately, despite legally winning the bets, FanDuel refuses to honor the payouts due to what they declare was a “glitch” with their “in-game pricing system.” The entire ordeal has become a mainstream controversy that calls into question the credibility of FanDuel as a company and a sportsbook.
The bets in question took place when the Broncos were driving down the field for the winning score with less than 2 minutes left in the game. In these final moments, multiple parties placed wagers on the Broncos to score and win the game.
The first party, Anthony Prince, actually placed his bet in person with the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands. He placed a $110 bet with the belief that the Broncos would score and win. The second party, friends Chris Calcano and Mike Guerriero, placed the same wager as Prince did on the Broncos, but through the FanDuel app.
According to a press release by FanDuel, the “glitch” took place right around the last 30 seconds of the game. At the time, when looking at a play by play recap of the game, Denver had the ball at Oakland’s 44 and was trying to get into field goal range. FanDuel had the Broncos at +340 as this play was about to begin. Then Broncos completed a 26-yard pass down to Oakland’s 18 yard line. The odds were then supposed to switch to -600 for Denver to win the game. However, the “glitch” caused this -600 to go up to +75000. Denver hit the field goal with a few seconds left in the game to defeat the Raiders.
According to the “glitch,” Prince’s $110 wager earned him $82,610 dollars. When he went up to the sportsbook window to collect, they refused to pay him. Making the matter worse, the sportsbook offered to give him $500 and skybox seats to 3 different New York Giants football games. According to News 12 in New Jersey, Prince made the following comments about the exchange:
“They said their system had a glitch in it and they’re not obligated to pay for glitches. The other guy said, ‘You should take what we give you because we don’t have to give you [anything] at all.’
For Calcano and Guerriero, they were shocked when their FanDuel balance shot up to over $56,000 on Sunday night. Unfortunately, by Monday morning, FanDuel had taken back the $56K and left them with about $20 based on the -600 line and not the “glitch” line of +75000.
Keven Hennessy, FanDuel’s director of publicity, was tasked with explaining the “glitch,” apologizing and trying to put the public fires out. In addition to the above explanation on when the “glitch” occurred, Hennessy also made the following comments:
”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.”
Last week, I took an in-depth look at FanDuel’s impressive expansion into the sports betting industry. Like many others, I was praising FanDuel for their aggressive approach to becoming a major player in this newfound industry. Unfortunately, all of those praises and all of the company’s accomplishments should be thrown out the window after the way they handled this “glitch.”
The New Jersey gaming commission is now investigating the matter; Prince is looking at filing a lawsuit against FanDuel, and major media outlets are calling FanDuel’s business practices into question. This is definitely not the reputation that FanDuel wants to establish when trying to rise to the top of the sports betting industry. The company should pay for their mistake just like any other decent business would.
For more analysis on this matter, check out our latest episode of Odds on Favorites.
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