Friday, September 21, 2018

FanDuel Back-Pedals, Agrees to Pay Bettor $82K

Casino News Daily
FanDuel Back-Pedals, Agrees to Pay Bettor $82K

After creating controversy with its decision not to honor a fan’s bet after a glitch in the live odds-making system, FanDuel back-pedaled to avoid the negative publicity. The Newark resident will now receive $82,610 in winnings that should have been paid out according to the 750-1 odds displayed on his ticket.

On Sunday, FanDuel’s Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey sold a ticket to Anthony Prince, who wagered on the Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders that was being played at the time. The bet he placed on the game was in-play, a term that refers to live bets, so the odds were changing as the game progressed. But an error occurred in the live feed at that specific moment when Prince purchased his betting ticket and as a result, the odds were displayed incorrectly.

Instead of buying into correct odds of -600 on Broncos to win, he received +750,000, or odds of 750-1. This was, of course, a ridiculous betting line caused by a glitch in the odds-making system that lasted 18 seconds, according to FanDuel. Whether knowingly or not, Prince exploited that error. Wagering $110 on the Broncos with the ticket, he should have won $82,610. The sportsbook, however, said that the ticket was actually worth only $18.35 and declined to pay out any additional winnings.

The dispute was almost immediately reported by a local TV channel and a wider coverage followed this week in some of the largest sports media networks. While backed up by the gambling regulations in New Jersey and the company’s own policies, FanDuel’s decision caused huge controversy. On Tuesday, the daily fantasy sports provider and bookmaker issued an official statement, explaining why it would not pay out the erroneous bet. Winning bets were honored at the accurate market price, the company added.

Change of Heart or a PR Stunt?

This past week was marked by a negative publicity for FanDuel caused by the rejection of the $80,000 bet. As per current provisions in the state’s gambling legislation, the bookmaker has the right to void winnings generated from a technical error such as in Anthony Prince’s case. While the decision to stiff that bet may have been, indeed, correct and fair, it was certainly not in the best interest of the company.

Many journalists and sports analysts criticized FanDuel for their stance, saying that it was the bookmaker’s fault for allowing such glitches to happen. Bettors, on the other hand, were not to blame for exploiting flaws in the betting systems. Similar opinions were shared by many sports fans on social media, as well. The bookmaker has probably had a change of heart regarding the dispute as it came out with another statement Thursday evening.

In it, FanDuel explains that it is not legally bound to pay out these erroneous bets. It will honor them either way, however, as it is dedicated to providing its customers with a gambling experience that is, most of all, fun. This one is on the house, FanDuel assures bettors.

With this surprising twist, the sportsbook is apparently recognizing the risk of creating a negative image for itself in the media for a handful of bets, even if they are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Some commentators have described the company’s newly changed position as a PR stunt, and rightfully so. Such criticism could damage not only its public image but also its future business opportunities.

The post FanDuel Back-Pedals, Agrees to Pay Bettor $82K appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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