Las Vegas Bettors Exploit Sportsbook Error

  • On Sunday morning, a number of Las Vegas bettors exploited a manual error involving international baseball games
  • Examples of the exploited wagers involved international baseball games that were already underway
  • Bettors likely face decision to receive winnings and be banned or have wagers refunded and continue doing business

Mistakes happen, and sometimes they’re costly.

It appears that a Las Vegas sportsbook might find that out the hard way after a number of bettors were able to profit from a manual error committed early Sunday morning.

A probe has been opened and it’s certainly an opportunity versus ethics debate moving forward.

Las Vegas Bettors Exploit Sportsbook Error

A mistake by BetMGM has proved costly for the sportsbooks after a number of Las Vegas sports bettors exploited a manual error at the Bellagio sportsbook early Sunday morning.

All the exploited wagers involved international baseball games that had already started and gave the bettors a strong opportunity to profit tens of thousands of dollars.

The error could cost the sportsbook up to a quarter-million dollars as approximately 50 questionable wagers were found, one of which was a 10-leg parlay that netted a bettor $137,000, according to ESPN.

That said, an investigation has been opened by Nevada Gaming and could possibly lead to the wagers being deemed invalid, saving the sportsbook from paying out the winning in the process.

“A trading error was identified this weekend and addressed. We’re working with Nevada Gaming authorities on this matter,” according to a ROAR digital statement provided to ESPN.

ROAR manages BetMGM and is the joint partnership between GVC and all MGM properties, including the Bellagio. GVC is a sportsbooks operator that has partnered with many U.S. casinos.

Nearly all suspicious wagers took place at self-bet kiosks at the Bellagio sportsbook between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. PST on Sunday morning. All involved baseball games that had already started in Korea and China.

Those games started between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. PST, but the BetMGM software posted incorrect start times due to manual error, allowing the software to accept the wagers.

Examples

  • Many of the questionable tickets featured the Korean Baseball Organizations NC Dinos at -110 odds and under 9 runs in their game against the Doosan Bears that was televised on ESPN. In the fifth inning, the Dinos broke a tie with a three-run home run that took place at 2:28 a.m. PST. The Dinos went on to win the game 5-0 while wagers on them in the late innings boasted a strong likelihood of hitting.
  • Some tickets contained a wager of over 9.5 runs between KT Wiz Suwon and the Hanwha Eagles. A five-run first inning by Suwon combined with a two-run second inning from Hanwha gave the game seven runs in the first two innings and providing bettors with a big opportunity to cash the over 9.5. The over indeed hit by the seventh inning in a game that finished 8-4 in favor of Suwon.
  • There was only one game targeted in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. At 2 a.m., the Rakuten Monkeys took on the Uni Lions. The Lions took a 10-2 lead within the first six innings and a wager on Uni at +150 was included and cashed.

Twitter images of an eight-leg parlay involving five KBO games that began at 1 a.m. were discovered. The $100 ticket that netted $11,156.60 had a time stamp of 2:53:37 a.m.

The head of BetMGM communications and public relations, Elisa Richardson, posted an internal image of the winning $137,000 ticket, but later deleted it. That particular ticket originated from a player’s betting app and not a kiosk.

Bettors Likely Face Decision

According to Regulation 22.115, Nevada Gaming has a “prohibition against recission of wagers. A book may not unilaterally rescind and wager without the prior written approval of the Chair.”

The current chairwoman is Sandra Douglass Morgan. The process of the probe would likely begin with the discovery of information and then Gaming Control Board members would discuss the case and ultimately Morgan would rule whether the wagers will be voided or paid out.

However, the bettors might face a decision themselves.

According to ESPN sources, common protocol involves two options for the bettor.

1. Have the ticket refunded and be allowed to continue as a patron, or,
2. Receive the full winnings but be permanently banned from the sportsbook.

Usually such errors represent a small amount and the bettor simply has their ticket refunded and continues to do business with the sportsbook.

However, this is a case involving large amounts of money, so some bettors may be inclined to take their winnings and find alternative sportsbooks to continue their wagering.

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