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Software Glitch Works in Baseball Bettor’s Favour

July 03, 2020

- Grant Whittington

A system error crept into baseball betting lines offered by prominent Las Vegas sportsbook BetMGM this past weekend resulted in several bettors striking it (mistakenly) lucky. The affected betlines are Korean and Chinese baseball lines, with the bug in the software awarding bettors the opportunity to bag massive cash payouts for having been permitted to continue to wager on pre-game lines after those games had already started.

The added benefit of extra insight obviously caused a giant-sized unfair advantage in favour f the bettors in question. Some 50 questionable bets are thought to have been wagered early on Saturday morning, with the potential cost to BetMGM estimated at around a quarter million US dollars.

One of the bigger bets – possibly the biggest of them all – was a ten-leg parlay bet that resulted in an incredible $137,000 win.

Some Bets Paid, Others Not

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has in the meantime confirmed having started a full-scale investigation into the cause and progression of the incident. There currently exists a strong possibility that the affected bets will be declared invalid. A ruling of ‘invalid’ will bring about relief to the operator, whom now by now fault of its own, may have to dig deep into its pockets in order to satisfy several unfair bet claims.

Several amounts related to the “advantaged” bets have already been settled by BetMGM. Those as of yet unpaid will however remain unpaid until such time as the regulator has finalised its investigation and handed down a ruling. Those remaining bets deemed the result of a software glitch will not be paid to the relevant bettors. No confirmation regarding exactly how many bets are left remaining (unpaid) has been released as of yet. The operator only discovered the glitch late on Sunday afternoon, by which time some bet slips had already been satisfied by way of payment.

Fun At The Bellagio

Most of the bets in question are thought to have been wagered at the Bellagio between the hours of 1:30am and 3am on Sunday morning, and all of them either KBO League games or Chinese Professional Baseball League games, or both.

The games kicked off at either 1am or 2am. The error is assumed to have been caused by the incorrect logging of start times. An added challenge is that the error in question may have been the result of human oversight as start times are typically entered manually by hand. If this is proved to have been the case, then human error will have been responsible for the mishap instead of a software malfunction or glitch.

Regulator Will Now Have To Say

In order for BetMGM to declare the affected bets as being null and void, the local regulator will first have to investigate the incident and grant the operator permission to rescind. A rescission of bets is under state gambling laws not permitted without the due and proper processes first having been conducted by the regulator.

The recent incident is no isolated event, as mishaps of this nature aren’t at all uncommon in Las Vegas sportsbooks. What is entirely unique however, is the magnitude and the extent of the problem in terms of monetary value.

Bettors are typically offered the option of either refunding the mistaken winnings back to the sportsbook in question or hold onto the unfair winnings but be banned from using sportsbook for life.

FanDuel in September 2018 paid out mistaken winnings to the tune of $138,000. This was in the days immediately following the launch of its sports betting offering, which obviously made the financial impact all the worse.

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