FanDuel agrees to payout after NFL glitch

20 September 2018

FanDuel has backed down and agreed to honour a number of bets placed at erroneous odds at its Meadowlands sportsbook parlour in New Jersey during an NFL game on Sunday.

The operator initially said it would not pay out to the customers who took odds of 750-1 on the Denver Broncos converting a 36-yard field goal. It said a field goal from that distance has approximately an 85% chance of success “so the astronomical odds offered on something highly likely to occur was very obviously a pricing error”.

However, while it was sticking to its guns on Wednesday, apologising to those affected but claiming its house rules address “obvious pricing errors”, the company has now offered to settle all bets. In a bid to “ensure sports betting is reliable and fun for everyone” it said it is also giving away $82,000 this weekend by adding $1,000 to the account of 82 customers.

After it became the subject of an investigation by New Jersey’s gambling regulator it released a statement on Thursday evening, saying: “Going forward, we are working with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) to improve our processes and procedures.

“We will also work with others in the industry on educating bettors on these and similar instances and how they work.”

While FanDuel has not revealed how many bets were placed, two punters that publicly complained about their treatment claimed to be owed winnings of around $130,000. Added to the $82,000 goodwill gesture, that means the error, which lasted for just 18 seconds, has cost it more than $200,000.

The company added: “For those familiar with the industry these rules are understood, but we realise 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.”

Kerry Langan, a spokesperson for the NJDGE, said the agency "is encouraged by FanDuel's actions today. The division will continue to work with FanDuel and the state's other licensed sports wagering operators to ensure the implementation of industry-wide best practices."

FanDuel went live with its brick-and-mortar sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack on July 14, and quickly became the market leader in New Jersey. It began accepting online bets at the start of this month.