DraftKings is under investigation after voiding bets on the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last weekend, which was called early due to weather conditions.
With reports Sunday that the tournament could be shortened from 72 to 54 holes, a number of DraftKings users bet on the order of finish after the third round as if it had already been declared the final leaderboard. A few hours later, at 9:15 p.m. ET, it was declared the final leaderboard, but days later, many of those bets have been voided, according to multiple reports on social media.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection says it is investigating four patron complaints related to the event, while the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said it is reviewing an undisclosed amount of canceled wagers related to the event.
What happened with Pebble Beach betting?
With reports of bad weather incoming, many took round three leader Wyndham Clark to win the tournament straight up. Others placed parlays on different golfers after round three to finish where they were once the tournament had been called. Ultimately, the event was declared final after 54 holes, with Clark emerging as the victor.
Bets placed on Clark before the tournament or during the initial rounds were considered successful. However, many bets placed during the tournament were declared void.
DraftKings house rules called into question
Bets placed after 6:40 p.m. ET were considered round four bets and void subject to DraftKings house rules, according to the DraftKings Customer support team.
“If the scheduled number of rounds is reduced by bad weather, bets will be settled as long as there is a deemed tournament winner and a minimum of 36 holes played. The Winner will be the player leading after the last completed official round,” DraftKings House Rules state.
A DraftKings spokesperson denied social media accusations that the company changed its house rules to avoid paying out customers after the event.
“We are currently reviewing the settlement of certain bets placed on this weekend’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am following the cancellation of the final round due to severe weather. DraftKings’ house rules are currently the same as they were at the start of this event.”
States say house rules unchanged
The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery said DraftKings has not changed its house rules since the state approved them in last year. Vermont launched legal sports betting in January.
“We have asked DraftKings to provide a list of Vermont players who may have had voided or canceled bets because of this event,” DLL Commissioner Wendy Knight told LSR. “We have not received a player complaint on this. We encourage players to use our customer complaint form on the DLL website.”
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and Massachusetts Gaming Commission are still taking stock of the situation, but said that operators need their approval before changing house rules. Regulators in Maine and Pennsylvania are still reviewing as well.
Multiple states yet to receive reports on DraftKings, others
Regulators in the following states said they have yet to receive a report related to AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am:
- New Jersey
In New Jersey, sportsbooks must submit incident reports to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, stating the reasons for voiding specific bets before they can void them.
A spokesperson with the Ohio Casino Control Commission declined to address the situation but said that sportsbooks can void wagers without state approval when “obvious errors” occur. Colorado and Pennsylvania have similar rules.
Regulators in Michigan declined to comment on any potential investigation.
States, sportsbooks wrestle with rarities
It is hardly the first time bettors have attempted to exploit a rare scenario that complicates matters for a sportsbook.
Earlier in the NFL season, similar outrage ensued after Barstool Sportsbook declined to pay out bets that exploited a technological snafu that left ‘can’t-lose’ markets open for several hours during a Giants-Cardinals game. In Massachusetts, this resulted in $47,760 worth of voided bets.
Regulators largely sided with Barstool in that situation, citing their “obvious errors” rules. Whether or not last weekend’s situation qualifies as an obvious error, however, is something many states are still figuring out.