Back in January, all eyes were on the NFL and who was going to the Super Bowl. During the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns went head-to-head. For sports bettors in the United States, this was a prime wagering opportunity. Operators like BetMGM offered betting lines on a variety of markets and one, in particular, ended up standing out.
A typo on a betting line caught by nine players led to a $10,500 win and an eventual fine for the operator. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement revealed the fine to the public last week, providing details on the sports betting incident. BetMGM.co was fined $500 after the DGE found the company failed in properly displaying the betting market odds.
Details of the Type
On January 17th, the Browns and Chiefs played during the playoffs. BetMGM had posted a prop bet on the two quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Baker Mayfield of the Browns. In this type of bet, the bettor is wagering on whether the player or group will exceed or fall short of the given statistic.
In New Jersey, BetMGM planned to offer bets on the quarterbacks and if they would pass for 300 or more yards during the playoff game. Well, when the bet was imputed manually into the system, the 3 was dropped. The bet then read if the quarterbacks would throw for 00 yards or more.
Naturally, the quarterbacks would throw some yardage. So, nine players in total noticed the error and took advantage of it. Five players from BetMGM and four from the Borgata sportsbooks took the action before the odds were corrected.
MGM Resorts International owns both sites and reported the error to regulators when it was caught. The company asked for permission to void the wagers, stating the odds were improperly calculated. The state said the bets could not be voided until an investigation was completed.
On the same day as the request, MGM decided to let the bets stand and they paid the players out. BetMGM has confirmed that the bettors were paid.
There are some sportsbooks that have policies in place where they reveal to players, they do not have an obligation to pay an incorrect betting proposition. This is known as a palpable error. However, companies can also choose to honor a bet.
In this case, the amounts were not significant and it helps the operator maintain its reputation as a quality sportsbook by just payout out the bet.