FanDuel Sportsbook Changes Its Tune, Pays Out ‘Erroneous’ NFL Tickets

FanDuel Sportsbook came to their senses.

This past week, FanDuel announced it would pay out an $82,000 winning ticket (and all other glitch-related bets) placed via a prop bet on a Sunday game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos.

Some bettors saw 750-1 odds on the game’s outcome, took the bet, and won.

“We are committed to ensuring sports betting is reliable and fun for everyone, and we don’t want an 18-second error to define anyone’s experience,” FanDuel said in a statement. “So let’s have fun.”

Quick background on the glitch bet at FanDuel

The Broncos vanquished the Raiders via a 36-yard field goal from kicker Brandon McManus.

For about 18 seconds before the kick, FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands offered 750-1 odds on the kick, which was an anomaly considering there was an 85 percent chance McManus would make the kick.

At first, the company said the odds were a glitch considering the high likelihood that McManus would make the kick. FanDuel told the bettor as such and then offered him a consolation prize.

After some hefty backlash across the NJ sports betting world, the media, and Twitter, FanDuel decided to pay out the 750-1 tickets.

FanDuel statement displays regret, good intentions

The long-shot prop-bet scenario was the second “glitch” the north New Jersey sportsbook endured so far this year and, in both cases, the company made things right by paying out the money that was due.

In the first scenario this past July, the sportsbook didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay out winning bets on a few MLB games, one of which finished after the cages were supposed to close.

Just like this most recent episode, FanDuel Sportsbook paid the winners and, in doing so, kept things on the level with customers.

What makes its recent decision even more valuable to its reputation is that not only did it pay the winning bets, but it also used it as a marketing tool over the weekend.

“We’re giving away $82,000 to our customers, by adding $1,000 to the account of 82 lucky users,” FanDuel’s statement said. “Any person who has a FanDuel Sportsbook online account as of 10 a.m. ET this Sunday will be eligible for random selection.”

House rules and misunderstandings

FanDuel’s statement also addressed the shortcomings in the context of New Jersey’s young sports betting market.

Experienced bettors would understand that a betting glitch wouldn’t pay out, per house rules. This is what’s known in the sports betting world as a palp.

FanDuel’s house rules, as approved by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, stated the following:

“In the case of any blatant errors in prices transmitted (including for example where the price being displayed is materially different from those available in the general market and/or the price is clearly incorrect, depending on all of the circumstances), bets will be settled at the correct price at the time of acceptance.”

In this situation, FanDuel said, they chose to forego house rules and pay out the winning tickets. The reason? Not everyone understands the NJ sports betting market or sports betting in general.

From the statement:

“We realize a lot of our customers are new to sports betting and were not familiar. We want FanDuel to be a sportsbook for all bettors, and 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.”

In the end, FanDuel may have had a change of heart. But the bottom line, according to the sportsbook, is that the tickets were “erroneous” and a glitch was still the cause of the error.

About the Author

J.R. Duren

A three-time winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest, J.R. Duren works as a freelance writer with a focus on the NJ online gambling and online casino industry. He writes for a number of publications, including Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan, Snooth, and the Villages Daily Sun.