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On Friday, Kris Benton, a Virginia teacher and avid soccer fan, saw an additional $214,000 in his BetMGM account. The money was the result of a same-game parlay Benton won on a Women’s World Cup game. While the bet won, BetMGM initially only returned the stake without any winnings. The sportsbook stated that the odds were mispriced, with the Netherlands getting 66/1 odds to score first despite being a massive favorite. That error led to the parlay’s enormous payout, so BetMGM voided the bet.
“They said because of their mistake they can do whatever they wanted to do with my account balance, and on top of that, the mistake they claimed happened, they can't back that up with any evidence,” Benton said after the bet was voided.
While BetMGM’s terms and conditions allow them to void bets where errors in pricing have been made, public pressure prompted the Virginia Lottery to get involved to review the case. The inquiry was shortlived as BetMGM paid out the bet eight days later, contacting Benton to let him know their decision to honor it.
While this was an isolated incident for BetMGM, it is far from the first time this has happened since sports betting was legalized. Other operators have dealt with technical issues that resulted in incorrect prices and massive payouts. While rare, the technology involved does present the possibility of incorrect pricing. As a result, operators like BetMGM include language in their terms and conditions to prevent massive losses.
BetMGM’s decision to pay the bet out instead of fighting the Virginia Lottery means they either did not believe their legal argument would hold up or simply wanted to end the bad press. Either way, it shows that bettors do have a way to fight back against these prominent sportsbooks. Errors will always be a part of the online sports betting industry, and those affected will now have a playbook for how to recoup their winnings.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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