GAMBL Interviews the Bettor Affected by $82k Payout Glitch at FanDuel
It’s a story that FanDuel would probably like to forget and sweep under the rug. But it is one that all bettors should be aware of.
The payout glitch couldn’t have come at a much worse time for FanDuel, as it happened just a few months after sportsbetting was legalized in New Jersey. It was propelled to the top of major media outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, and BleacherReport. Bettors were discussing it among themselves on Twitter threads and elsewhere across social media.
Back to the game in question. Denver is down 17-19, starting with the ball backed up deep inside their own territory, less than two minutes to go, and no timeouts. They begin their march up the field and during this time is when he tries to get the bet in. With 18 seconds to go, a short pass from Keenum to Patrick leads to Patrick breaking around towards the sideline and running it well inside of field goal range. He wisely manages to get out of bounds before he could be tackled, stopping the clock with 8 seconds remaining.
The bettor says this is likely around the time the bet goes through. Denver odds had dropped sharply from a big underdog to a strong -600 favorite around this time too. But there was an 18-second window where an issue with the in-game pricing system had Denver as a +75,000 underdog. The bettor recalls that for a short time the game mistakenly appeared to be over, when there were really 8 seconds left. So maybe that had something to do with the payout glitch. Reportedly, ten other bets were also made during this window.
Denver’s kicker McManus makes the 36-yard field goal and puts the Broncos up 20-19, with a scant 6 seconds left. The Raiders desperate final play fails and Denver wins the game. During this time the erroneous odds are noticed and the dispute begins. The sportsbook said their policy is that they won’t honor the bet at those odds. The bettor counters that if the bet had lost, they would have still taken his money. Now the issue is stuck at an impasse.
After discussing the payout glitch for about 30 minutes, one of the more senior staff pulls the bettor aside and offers him $500 and tickets for the last few home games of the season. The bettor’s friend (who had placed the bet for him) was about to accept, but the bettor interrupted and made what would turn out to be a crucial decision – he declined the offer. Negotiations broke down at this point and the bettor went to the local news and gaming authorities then, kicking off the media frenzy.
At first, FanDuel was simply not going to honor the odds caused by the payout glitch. But after the negative media coverage built up and after meeting with authorities, they decided to finally honor the bet. Certainly the correct decision, especially given the industry’s image issues. The bettor says that Kevin Hennessy, currently the Vice President of Communications at FanDuel, called him apologizing for the inconvenience and arranged for him to get paid – minus taxes of course. The bettor ended up netting a little over $62,000 after it all was said and done. Quite a nice payday from the original $110 bet.
However, a condition was that the bettor was banned for two years from FanDuel. He informed us that he’s started going back there to bet again in 2021 after the ban was lifted, and in his words, “Fortunately they only gave me a two year ban”. He also said, “I’ve thought that sometimes I feel a little tension, because they really don’t like me a bit, but it is what it is though”.