FanDuel reversed its decision and ended up paying out a New Jersey bettor $82,610 on a winning bet placed during an in-game odds glitch.
The online sports betting company said it will pay Anthony Prince of Newark the full 750-1 payout he was promised when the company’s automated system mistakenly generated long odds on the final moments of the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders game on Sunday.
The company initially refused to pay the bet placed at its sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, saying it isn’t obligated to pay for obvious errors. But FanDuel reversed field after consulting with state gambling regulators.
“Above all else, sports betting is supposed to be fun,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “As a result of a pricing error this weekend, it wasn’t for some of our customers.”
Prince made his bet before a game-winning field goal by Denver’s Brandon McManus.
“A 36-yard field goal has approximately an 85 percent chance of success, so the astronomical odds offered on something highly likely to occur was very obviously a pricing error,” the company said. “These kinds of issues are rare, but they do happen. We want sports betting to be fun. So, this one’s on the house. We are paying out these erroneous tickets and wish the lucky customers well.”
Before FanDuel changed its mind, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus tweeted that he thought FanDuel should pay out the $82,610.
Pay The People!!! They put their hard earned money on me to win that game https://t.co/I7bJMj5ypd
— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) September 20, 2018
A congressional hearing on a federal framework for sports betting is set for next week.
On Thursday, a House Judiciary subcommittee scheduled a hearing titled “An Examination of Sports Betting in America” for Sept. 27, in Washington, D.C.
The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigation will review the current U.S. landscape in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in May that struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and opened a path for states to offer legal sports betting. Since the ruling, Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey and West Virginia have joined Nevada in offering full-scale sports betting, and Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are also gearing up.
“My subcommittee will look at the implications of this SCOTUS ruling and talk about what it means for the integrity of sports as well as what sorts of improper or illicit activities could arise,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). “Ultimately, we want to determine whether or not a basic federal framework is necessary to guide states’ new gambling policies.”
A bill has been introduced in Washington D.C. to legalize and regulate sports betting.
“There is $150 billion of underground gambling on sports in America,” said D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, who introduced the bill. “How do you bring that $150 billion above ground so that they will bet with the District of Columbia instead of betting with my bookie?”
At first, D.C. would license sports facilities and bars for betting, but also eventually create a sports betting app, which Evans believes is crucial.
A gambling addiction specialist said that legalizing sports betting could help protect gamblers.
Fong, the UCLA doctor and gambling addiction specialist, believes America can stave off a significant spike in problem gambling arising from sports betting legalization by putting in the proper consumer protections.
“If I look at my patients, it is so easy to place a bet on sports right now, whether it’s online or text message or going to my neighbor’s house and putting money on a game,” Fong said. “So it’s not that sports betting isn’t here.”
“If anything, legalizing sports betting, if done properly, should, for one, protect gamblers better by having an above-board, regulated gambling environment for people who want to do this behavior. And secondly, it should — hopefully with the states and governments in mind — preserve some funds and revenues and resources for men and women who do develop this disorder now that it is legalized.”
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