Barstool Sportsbook betting customers who had their accounts frozen and bets voided after Sunday‘s NFL game between the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals have earned no sympathy from state regulators.
Technical glitches caused pregame NFL betting lines on 14 types of wagers in 10 markets to remain open during the game, even after they had already cashed, according to a Penn Sports Interactive filing with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. For example, bettors could still wager on Saquon Barkley to score at least one touchdown long after his third-quarter score.
Shortly after, customers were told their wagers were on hold:
How many bets were affected?
Two states have provided details of how many voided Barstool bets were in question:
- In Massachusetts, 257 wagers totaling $47,760 across 59 accounts were impacted.
- In Maryland, 468 bets across 113 accounts were impacted.
None of the other 14 states where Barstool Sportsbook operates provided figures.
Most states let Barstool void NFL betting
Social media outrage over Penn’s response has been blaring. But so far, regulators say the company is well within its right to cancel bets from a system error.
Massachusetts regulators voted unanimously to allow Penn to void the bets during a hearing Thursday, with the assurance that emergency resolutions are in place to prevent the same errors from reoccurring.
“It’s at their discretion whether they want to offer these kinds of bets, but If we have another request of this kind before us, I don’t know that I’ll be sympathetic,” said Nakisha Skinner, a commissioner at the MGC.
What regulators said about NFL betting
When contacted by LSR:
- Regulators in Colorado, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania pointed to rules that allow sportsbooks to void bets when obvious errors occur.
- Regulators in Arizona, Illinois, Maryland and Tennessee said they are aware of the situation but offered no further comment.
- New Jersey is currently weighing a request from Penn to void wagers.
Barstool Sportsbook parent company Penn Entertainment did not return a request for comment.
Barstool bettors tell their version
In its report to the MGC, Penn blamed its odds provider, Swish Analytics, which it said experienced a technical breakdown in data that was made worse by latency issues from unexpected betting surges on its Vegas trading platform.
Many bets were initially graded as wins, allowing bettors who acted quickly to withdraw their funds and keep their cash.
“It was up for like 40 mins. I was calling all my friends and we all ate,” one bettor said.
That’s what friends are for?
Another bettor, part of a private text chat dedicated to exposing pricing anomalies at sportsbooks, claims he had $32,000 in wagers voided. He said he feared a void because he saw the information shared in larger Discord groups.
According to documents reviewed by LSR, a customer support rep told him last Sunday that “all wagers and bets are perfectly fine!”
Bettors say other NFL betting also affected
One bettor, who goes by @scootscanvas on Twitter, said he bet on Barkley to score a touchdown four minutes before kickoff, but Barstool froze his account despite the legitimacy of the wager.
Another Twitter user shared a similar story:
Penn still using Barstool name
Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook struggled to gain market share after launching under the brand name in 2020. In August, Penn announced it would ditch the Barstool name in favor of ESPN Bet, a rebrand tentatively slated for November.
Penn CEO Jay Snowden indicated earlier this month that the new app will incorporate product enhancements from theScore.