Online sportsbook FanDuel has agreed to pay out $82,000 to a customer who was able to place a successful bet on an American football match at unusually high odds due to a technical “glitch”.
FanDuel, founded in Edinburgh and acquired by Paddy Power in May 2018, had initially refused to pay out after Anthony Prince placed a bet late in the fourth quarter of the Raiders v Broncos game last weekend.
The Raiders were winning 19-17 but, with just 70 seconds of the game remaining, the Broncos were awarded a 36-yard field goal, which would seal the win for them if converted.
Despite this clear opportunity to win the game with one kick, a technical error with FanDuel’s betting system meant that customers were offered odds of 750-1 for the Broncos to win.
Prince put $110 down and, when the Broncos did successfully convert the field goal to win the game 20-19, he believed he had won $82,610. But, when Prince went to collect his winnings, FanDuel refused to pay out.
Prince explained: “They said their system had a glitch in it and they’re not obligated to pay for glitches.”
Prince said he was instead offered $500 and tickets for three New York Giants games, which he declined.
FanDuel has since had a change of heart, though, and has agreed to pay out in full to Prince and 11 other customers who had also taken advantage of the huge odds.
In a statement, the company said: “Above all else, sports betting is supposed to be fun. As a result of a pricing error this weekend, it wasn’t for some of our customers.
“For 18 seconds, bettors were offered odds paying out 750-1 on the Denver Broncos converting a 36-yard field goal. A 36-yard field goal has approximately an 85% chance of success, so the astronomical odds offered on something highly likely to occur was very obviously a pricing error. These kinds of issues are rare, but they do happen. We have clear house rules about how such obvious pricing errors are treated, which is to pay winners at the correct price.”
For those familiar with the industry these rules are understood, according to FanDuel, but it noted that a lot of its customers are new to sports betting and are not familiar.
The company added: “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. Going forward, we are working with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to improve our processes and procedures.”
FanDuel said it intends to work with others in the industry on educating bettors on these and similar instances and how they work.
As well as making the full pay outs, FanDuel said it planned to give away a further $82,000 to customers, by adding $1,000 to the account of 82 randomly selected users.