The sportsbook at the Bellagio takes a massive hit after a clerical error
There is no ideal time for a sportsbook to make a mistake that costs a lot of money, but this was certainly the worst time ever. Sportsbooks saw their businesses reduced to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, so they have survived with other activities, including eSports and international sports, like Korean and Chinese baseball games. However, one employee apparently was a little rusty at the keyboard, and the MGM Resorts Las Vegas sportsbook at the Bellagio reported a simple human error that ended up with the company losing nearly $250,000 due to bets placed on these leagues.
The issue originated from the confusion the employee might have made with the official starting times of these games. Instead of adjusting the betting window from 1 AM to 2 AM, when all the games have officially started, the employees opened the kiosks from 1:30 AM to 3 AM PST. Therefore, gamblers were able to make “past-post,” which are bets that are placed after the game has started. A total of 50 wagers were placed on the KBO League and the Chinese Professional Baseball League games at the Bellagio within that window through a self-service kiosk, including a 10-team parlay that “won” $137,107.38.
“It’s happened to all of us,” said John Murray, Westgate Sportsbook director. “I think every sportsbook probably since the beginning of time has dealt with this at some point. We’ve had past post situations where our employees put in the wrong time or put in the wrong number or they forgot to close something. It’s manual entry and humans are going to make mistakes.”
When an error like this happens – and it involves losses for over $500 – the sportsbook needs to contact the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Usually the board rules on the side of the bettors, but it comes with consequences. If the faulty winners decide to get the money, they will also get a permanent ban from the property; however, the case is still under review.