What If The FanDuel Sportsbook Controversy Happened In Nevada Or The UK?

FanDuel Sportsbook’s decision not to pay a winning bet because of a glitch is under fire, but how would other sports betting markets handle a similar issue?

FanDuel Sportsbook has come under fire for refusing to pay out an $82,610 winning ticket, claiming a computer glitch created the 750/1 odds it promised to pay.

However, a look at FanDuel’s terms and conditions, and the long-standing policies in other jurisdictions with legal sports betting, show why such disputes are often the difference between bad tech and what the rules say.

This particular dispute surrounds the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders game last Sunday. With a little over a minute left to play, Denver had the ball on its own 45-yard line, down by two.

Newark’s Anthony Prince then placed a $110 in-game wager on Denver to win at the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack at 750/1. And no, that’s not a typo.

Broncos win and controversy ensues

The Broncos went on to kick a 36-yard field goal with six seconds left to win it. However, when Prince tried to collect the $82,610 his ticket promised to pay, he immediately met with resistance from FanDuel Sportsbook staff.

Prince told News12 New Jersey a FanDuel employee said the system had a glitch that created the outrageously long odds, and it is not obligated to pay for such glitches.

Prince said he was offered $500 and tickets to a series of New York Giants games as an apology. However, he refused to accept it.

In the days since, a number of other New Jersey gamblers have come forward saying they took advantage of the same glitch on the FanDuel Sportsbook app. They found out the next morning FanDuel took the money back.

FanDuel released the following statement in the aftermath:

“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.”

The following further explanation was given in regards to how the glitch took place:

“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.”

FanDuel house rules…

Clearly, FanDuel decided to stick by its house rules, which state:

“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.”

Under these published rules, a requirement in the NJ sports betting market, it appears FanDuel is off the hook.

However, the organization is taking a bit of a public relations hit. Critics argue there’s no point in having legal and regulated sports betting unless regulators are there to force sportsbooks to honor the bets they book.

… and NJ sports betting regulations

New Jersey regulators are not ignoring the situation.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, told the Associated Press the agency is investigating the matter.

He also said it is just as important to look at how the error occurred, given internal controls to prevent it. Those findings may land FanDuel with some kind of fine.

NJ regulations also state the following:

“A wagering operator shall not unilaterally rescind any wager pursuant to this chapter without the prior approval of the Division.”

As it is, on Thursday, FanDuel moved to honor the disputed bet and pay out the $82,000 in winnings to Prince. Other bets that were placed with the error will also be honored.

Some might think this is a byproduct of the New Jersey sports betting market’s youth and the inexperience of its operators. However, it’s far from the first error made by a sportsbook. Nor is it the first time gaming regulators have dealt with such an issue.

The entire reason a sportsbook like FanDuel has a house policy to deal with such an error is the distinct possibility it can and will happen.

Similar policies in the UK

In September 2014, a UK soccer fan placing bets on a Betfair sports betting app ran into a similar problem.

She wrote to an advice columnist with The Guardian newspaper claiming she found an odds glitch. Bets on a team ahead by a few goals with just a few minutes left in the game were at 12/1. She bet £50, won an additional £600, and suspecting Betfair had made a mistake, withdrew the cash right away.

A few days later, her Betfair account showed a negative balance of -£593. Customer support told her the wrong odds had been given, and she would need to pay back the winnings.

The Guardian advice columnist told her Betfair has every right to reclaim the money. She said its terms and conditions protect it. They do this by clearly stating a player who wins as a result of human error or software glitch must repay the money.

The columnist went on to say if Betfair pursued the money through the courts, it has a pretty strong case.

Of course, the columnist suggested the gambler can contact UK gaming regulators if she wants to put up a fight. It’s just a fight she isn’t likely to win.

The terms and conditions of all UK sportsbooks state if a genuine error occurs, the sportsbook can cancel a bet. Sportsbooks and regulators call it a palpable error, or palp. It’s the same for human or computer errors.

Players should get the bet back. Or, as they did at FanDuel Sportsbook, have the bet settled at the correct odds.

An obvious error in sportsbook odds

The one caveat in the UK is that the error must be obvious. If the price of the bet is -600 everywhere except one sportsbook where it’s +75,000, it’s an obvious error.

Again, players can always take a dispute to the gaming board. In the UK, that means the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. In New Jersey, it’s the DGE.

What happens in Nevada?

Nevada counts the time it has had legal sports betting in decades, not months. Over there, it’s the Nevada Gaming Control Board that settles similar disputes between a bettor and the sportsbook.

All Nevada sportsbooks have similar house policies, but there are rules that provide bettors with additional avenues for resolution. For instance, operators must report any dispute exceeding $500 to the NGCB. The dispute is settled sometimes in favor of the bettor and other times in favor of the sportsbook.

If a sportsbook has a published policy, regulators in Nevada are going to go by the letter of the law. That means ruling in favor of standing behind it. But, in most cases, the book just takes the hit because “tickets go as written.”

In the case of FanDuel, its house rules were approved by the DGE. It is likely the bigger issue for the sportsbook and regulators is why and how such a glitch occurred in the first place.

Losing customers, saving face

An operation like FanDuel may lose a few customers over this. There will be those who accuse it of changing lines to suit its needs and refusing to honor winning tickets.

Still, more will claim it is adjusting things after the fact and turning itself into a moving target.

However, most will see this as an obvious error. They will accept that FanDuel has a published policy in place to handle such things. And in the end, FanDuel reversed course.

In the larger sense, bettors will see that the legal and regulated sports betting system works when the DGE does what every other regulator would do: investigate, read the fine print, and follow the rules.

NJ Sports Betting Picks Up $95M In Bets In August With Huge Mobile Growth

NJ sportsbooks took in more than $95 million in bets in August with a big percentage moving to the online sports betting side of the ledger.

New Jersey sportsbooks took in more than $95 million in bets in August with an increasing percentage moving over to the online and mobile sports betting side of the ledger.

In fact, in the first month with online and mobile sports betting in the state, numbers released by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement this week show approximately 22.7 percent of the money wagered was bet on the DraftKings Sportsbook, playMGM Sports, and SugarHouse Sportsbook.

A huge percentage, considering only DraftKings Sportsbook was operational throughout most of August. The other two launched on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, respectively.

A growing NJ online sports betting sector

There are now seven mobile and online sportsbooks in New Jersey. 888 Sport is the newest to the NJ sports betting scene, though it is still in soft launch mode.

As a result, the $21.7 million bet in August on mobile sports betting apps and online sportsbooks is a good bet to grow in September.

All told, the New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City casinos offering sports betting turned the $95 million in bets into $9.2 million in gross revenue. Of course, that number is before various operational expenses have been deducted and futures bets settled.

FanDuel at Meadowlands stands as king of retail

For the second month in a row, FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack became the top-grossing sportsbook in August.

It was only taking bets for half of July and more-than-doubled its monthly revenue to just over $3 million in August. That number helped FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands push past Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill as the top-grossing sportsbook in the state since launch.

Total gross revenue at FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack since launch is now at $4.43 million. In the meantime, Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill posted $898,017 in gross revenue in August, making its total since launch $4.03 million.

Resorts and DraftKings Sportsbook shock the world

Resorts jumped the queue in August to become the top-grossing casino-based sports betting operation in the state.

The retail sportsbook that launched on the property on Aug. 15 posted slightly less than $100,000 in gross revenue. However, DraftKings Sportsbook reported approximately $2.97 million in gross revenue operating under Resorts’ license.

In fact, with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa posting $855,152 in gross revenue last month, bringing total revenue since launch at the playMGM Sports online and Borgata Race & Sports Book retail operations up to $2.4 million, Resorts jumped to the top of the Atlantic City casino-based sports betting sector in just its first month.

Additionally, combined revenues at Resorts in August added up to even more than those at FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands.

A down month for Ocean Resort sportsbook

Last month, the William Hill Sports Book at Ocean Resort Casino appeared poised to become the top casino-based sportsbook in NJ. Of course, that was before Resorts and DraftKings Sportsbook stole everyone’s thunder.

Operating sports betting out of a temporary location until the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 6, the Ocean Resort Casino sportsbook actually had a down month. It posted just $519,563 in gross revenue in August compared to $1,036,766 in July.

As a result, it now sits a distant third behind Resorts and Borgata.

September should provide an even clearer picture of what the New Jersey sports betting market is all about because:

  • The NFL season will be in full swing.
  • Retail sportsbooks at two casinos and two online sports betting sites will enjoy a first full month in business.
  • And at least four more online and mobile sportsbooks have entered the market.

FanDuel Sportsbook And William Hill Apps Enter NJ Sports Betting Market

The New Jersey mobile and online sports betting market got a little busier this past weekend with FanDuel Sportsbook and William Hill US launching apps.

The New Jersey mobile and online sports wagering market got a little busier this past weekend with the launch of two new sports betting apps.

In fact, both daily-fantasy-sports-turned-sports-betting operator FanDuel and the country’s largest sportsbook operator William Hill US soft-launched new mobile and online sportsbook products on Saturday.

DraftKings SportsBook, playMGM Sports, and SugarHouse Sportsbook all went live in August. That now brings the list of operational mobile and online sportsbooks in the state to five.

However, two more could also go live as soon as this week. Caesars Entertainment and Resorts previously announced plans to launch mobile and online sports betting products before the start of the NFL season.

The five-day soft launch

FanDuel Sportsbook kicked off a five-day soft launch for its web-based, Android and iOS platforms on Saturday. The William Hill soft launch went live on Android only. (Both platforms have limited access, as per regulations.)

Of course, both companies already run retail sportsbooks in the NJ sports betting market.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack opened on July 14 on the grounds of MetLife Stadium where the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets play home games.

On June 14, the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill became the first sports betting operation to open in the state.

Additionally, William Hill opened up a temporary sportsbook at the new Ocean Resort Casino on June 28. The permanent 7,500 square-foot William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino will open when the NFL season kicks off this Thursday, Sept. 6.

Much like DraftKings Sportsbook, the FanDuel mobile and online sports betting app allows customers to move funds around between daily fantasy sports and sports betting accounts.

The FanDuel Sportsbook product

However, the FanDuel product separates itself from the pack by displaying game casts with live-scoring visualizations following the action of individual events. Plus, it allows customers outside of New Jersey to view lines. Only those inside state lines can bet on them, of course.

The FanDuel Sportsbook features in-play wagering, prop bets and an intuitive suggested games feature. The feature will tailor itself to users and their individual betting patterns.

William Hill launched a mobile sportsbook in Nevada back in 2013. The first indication it was headed to New Jersey came last week when “NV” was added to the app title. William Hill has an iOS version of the app available in Nevada. It is expected to go live on iTunes in New Jersey when it’s five-day soft launch wraps up.

The FanDuel Sportsbook runs on a proprietary software platform using the technology from new owner Paddy Power Betfair.

A conservative approach to NJ sports betting

In talking with Legal Sports Report, head of product Nik Bonaddio said there are benefits to operating under an international gaming giant:

“We’re partnered with one of the most respected brands in Europe, if not the most respected. That gives us a lot of operational [advantages] — whether its efficient pricing, whether it’s the breadth of markets, it gives us more credibility in the space.”

Bonaddio added FanDuel Sportsbook will take a conservative approach to the kind of sports and contests it books. This is an effort to avoid anything that might be fixed. In fact, that means things like hot dog eating contests are likely out. As are lower ranked professional tennis circuits where corruption has previously occurred.

For now, it also means no esports betting, as Bonaddio said the audience is generally younger than 18.

FanDuel Sportsbook will offer the increasingly popular teaser bets, with looser lines available at reduced payouts.

Competitive betting lines

FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack opened with some questionable lines.

However, Bonaddio called it a bit of a false start. Plus, he promised the FanDuel online and mobile sports betting product will offer “extremely competitive” pricing. Again, the connection to Paddy Power Betfair should help:

“Paddy Power has a world-class trading team behind it. If you look at the margins that Paddy Power has, the revenue they do on a lesser scale means that their trading department is as good as it gets. All of this runs off the same platforms that Paddy Power itself runs off of. You will see us having, if not the most efficient lines, among them.”

What Are My Options? A Quick Guide To Making Deposits At NJ Sportsbook Apps

You can’t make a bet on a mobile sportsbook app in New Jersey until you make a deposit at DraftKings Sportsbook, playMGM and SugarHouse Sportsbook.

It’s been a busy August for NJ sports betting.

Two new retail sportsbooks opened in Atlantic City — Golden Nugget Sportsbook and Resorts — making it eight total in the state.

Meanwhile, the number of online and mobile sports betting operators now up and running in New Jersey has grown to three:

However, getting money to wager with onto these apps is proving easier for some than others.

DraftKings Sportsbook deposit options

DraftKings Sportsbook app was the first to launch in the NJ mobile sports betting market. It did so by allowing players to make NJ online gambling deposits using just a few methods:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank transfer

This short list does not include payment processors such as PayPal or Neteller, leaving DraftKings Sportsbook players very few options if their particular credit card company or bank declines online gambling transactions.

Unfortunately, this is still happening quite regularly.

Despite the fact NJ online gambling and sports betting are legal and regulated markets in the Garden State, many credit and debit cards transactions are still subject to high rejection rates. Banks have yet to adjust their online gambling policies to reflect new laws.

DraftKings Sportsbook customers who have played daily fantasy sports on DraftKings previously do have an additional option. If players have an existing account on the fantasy sports side, they can link it to a DraftKings Sportsbook account.

In theory, players can then transfer funds between the two accounts. However, the process is not quite seamless. Players can deposit at DraftKings DFS, and then move money to the sportsbook platform. However, they must play through the money at least one time on DFS first.

The single account/wallet policy instituted by the two other current online and mobile sports betting operators in New Jersey certainly makes things easier.

playMGM Sports

MGM Resorts International launched its playMGM NJ Sports product in conjunction with the existing playMGM online casino and playMGM poker sites.

That means players need only sign up for a single account to play casino games, poker, and bet on sports with MGM. Players can make a deposit into their central playMGM account, transfer funds to their sports wallet, and get in on the sports betting action almost immediately.

The sheer size of MGM Resorts International gives it a big advantage here. It is one of the largest casino companies on the planet, and as such, accepts more deposit methods than most.

In fact, players can fund their central playMGM account with dozens of different payment processors, banking options, and alternative deposit methods.

Some of the more popular playMGM deposit methods include:

  • Abaqoos
  • Borgata PlayPlus
  • ecoPayz
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Diners Club Card
  • Electronic Transfer
  • EntroPay
  • Fast Bank Transfer
  • Instant Banking
  • Neteller
  • PayPal
  • Skrill

SugarHouse Sportsbook

It’s a similar situation with the state’s newest online and mobile sports betting operator.

As the name implies, SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino launched online sports betting integrated with its existing NJ online casino. It is the first to do so in the state.

Plus, SugarHouse Sportsbook announced this week it now offers PayPal as a deposit method. The move brings the total number of deposit options on the NJ gambling site and sportsbook to an even dozen.

In addition to PayPal, the list includes:

  • ACH/eCheck
  • Cash at the SugarHouse Casino Cage in Philadelphia
  • Neteller
  • Online Bill Pay
  • SugarHouse Prepaid Card

In an email to players, SugarHouse Sportsbook staff claim its payment processing team is the top-ranked group in the industry and promise hassle-free deposits.

It’s a promise that will likely prove important as the number of online and mobile sports betting operators in New Jersey continues to grow.

First Half Of 2018 Holds Steady For Atlantic City Casino Revenues

Through the first six months of the year, Atlantic City casino net revenues are almost exactly what they were last year with gross operating profit down less than five percent.

The Atlantic City casino industry appears as healthy as ever.

In fact, Atlantic City casino revenues for the first half of 2018 are almost exactly what they were last year, according to quarterly financial reports released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement this week.

Revenue held steady for the most part, decreasing just 0.3 percent from $1.306 billion to $1.302 billion from the beginning of January through to the end of June. However, the casinos’ gross operating profit dropped 4.6 percent from approximately $308 million to $294 million.

Part of the reason for the profit drop could be fewer people visiting Atlantic City this year. The reports also revealed the occupancy rate in the industry’s casino hotels reached 81.4 percent. This is a 4.4 percent drop compared to the first six months of 2017.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on top

Despite a 4.6 percent drop in net revenue and 23.7 percent drop in gross operating profit, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa continued to be Atlantic City’s top-performing casino property.

Borgata posted more than $400 million in revenue in the first half of the year, close to one-third of the industry’s total. The property also recorded more than $98 million in gross operating profit. However, that number is down significantly from the more than $128 million Borgata recorded over the first six months of 2017.

Regardless, it was another Marina District casino property that posted the industry’s biggest gains.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City saw its revenues jump 9.6 percent. The numbers climbed from close to $130 million in 2017 to more than $142 million this year. Plus, the property posted more than $24 million in gross operating profit. That figure represents a 42.8 percent jump over the profit Golden Nugget posted in the first half of 2017.

Of course, the data shows Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City to be the industry’s lowest grossing casinos, since both properties did not open until June 28.

Resorts Casino Hotel trailing the pack

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Atlantic City casinos.

Resorts Casino Hotel was actually the lowest grossing casino open for the entire six month period. In fact, Resorts was the only casino to post under $100 million in revenue.

It reported $83,463 in net revenue and $10.7 million in gross operating profit for the first half of the year.

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City still trails Borgata by quite a significant margin. However, it saw a 3.1 percent jump in revenue. Plus, a 19.5 percent rise in profit. Those numbers helped it keep second place in both categories.

Harrah’s posted $206 million in revenue and $59.9 million in profit in the first six months of the year.

Caesars Entertainment’s other two Atlantic City casinos both saw revenues drop in the first half of the year.

Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino saw net revenue drop 10.6 percent, from more than $159 million in the first six months of 2017 to $142.4 million this year. Net revenue at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino dropped 2.5 percent, from $109.1 million in the first half of 2017 to $106.3 million in the first half of this year.

However, while Caesars’ gross operating profit dropped 19.3 percent to $37.2 million, Bally’s was up 12.7 percent to $17.9 million.

Finally, Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City saw revenues rise 1.6 percent to $180.4 million and operating profits jump 21.3 percent to $42.7 million in the first half of 2018.

Matching 2017 numbers

All told, the numbers show Atlantic City Casinos are coming close to matching 2017’s pace for both net revenue and gross operating profit.

Hope for increases over 2017 lie in the spread of legal NJ sports betting in the second half of the year. Six of nine Atlantic City casinos have opened sportsbooks since June:

  • Golden Nugget
  • Borgata
  • Resorts
  • Bally’s
  • Harrah’s
  • Ocean Resort

In 2017, Atlantic City casinos saw a 22.5 percent jump in gross operating profits and a five percent increase in net revenue over 2016. Total 2017 net revenue hit $2.67 billion and total 2017 gross operating profits reached $723 million.

All of the numbers include NJ online gambling figures, so when sports betting is at its full strength in the Garden State, the estimates for the AC casino industry are likely to change once again.

Start Your Engines: MGM’s Mobile Sportsbook In NJ Goes Live

MGM Resorts will launch New Jersey’s first online and mobile sportsbook by the end of the week, according to CEO Jim Murren. The playMGM NJ sports betting app is on its way.

It appears MGM Resorts International and its Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are now part of the New Jersey online and mobile sportsbook market.

In early August, MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said the company planned to launch a New Jersey mobile sports betting product by the end of the week.

Now, almost three weeks later, playMGM soft-launched its NJ mobile sportsbook app, joining DraftKings Sportsbook in the new online sports betting market.

Murren was speaking at a July 31 New York City press conference announcing MGM had become the official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA at the time.

The NJ playMGM sports betting app

Murren was talking about MGM’s sports betting operations in Las Vegas and Atlantic City when he may have unwittingly revealed its playMGM sports betting app is ready to launch in the Garden State:

“Fortunately we have a running start here, because we operate the largest sports betting operation in Las Vegas with our 10 resorts. We hub out of the Mirage property, but as you know, we own properties up and down the Las Vegas Boulevard. And our playMGM app has been active for quite some time and is already quite popular.

“Closer to home here, of course we own Borgata, and at the end of this week, we’ll be taking mobile bets from Borgata and playMGM in New Jersey.”

Then there’s the NJ sports betting law

Recall that NJ sports betting was legalized at racetracks and casinos on June 11.

The law allows licensed sportsbooks to launch online and mobile sports betting products 30 days after it passed. However, none have.

In fact, Murren’s comments are the first from any casino or racetrack operator indicating it has an online or mobile NJ sports betting product ready to launch.

The state’s first sportsbooks

The Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill at the Oceanport track was the first to take a legal bet in the state, launching on June 14.

However, the converted Race & Sports Book at Borgata opened just a few hours later, becoming the first Atlantic City casino to get in on the action.

At the time, Borgata President and CEO Marcus Glover said the organization had plans in the final stages of design to make significant additions to complement the existing facilities. Details and a timeline for that project have not yet been released.

Borgata’s Race & Sports Book offers betting lines and odds directly from MGM Resorts in Las Vegas.

There’s an app for that

These same odds are offered on the very popular playMGM mobile sports betting app operating on an IGT software platform in Nevada. It uses geolocation software and age verification to ensure the legality of all mobile bets.

MGM will likely launch a version of the same app in New Jersey.

The app offers wagers on a variety of sports betting formats, including:

  • Futures
  • Live wagers
  • Moneylines
  • Parlays
  • Point spreads
  • Propositions
  • Teasers

Earlier this week, MGM also announced it had struck a deal with Boyd Gaming to take its online gambling and sports betting products nationwide.

It’s likely that MGM’s announcement will spur Caesars, Golden Nugget and other potential NJ sports betting operators to join the online wagering market soon.

The MGM edge in sports betting

At Tuesday’s press conference, Murren did not say being first to launch mobile sports betting in New Jersey would give MGM an edge over the competition.

Instead, he said the MGM name will get that job done:

“I think that the experienced gaming customer, and even the novice, is really going to gravitate toward integrity, trust, branding, information. And I think this provides us a tremendous advantage over my competitors.”