An apparent situation at Meadowlands Racetrack late Tuesday night left some bettors frustrated with FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Dodgers and Phillies engaged in a 16-inning affair that dragged on into the evening. That pushed up against the closing time for FanDuel Sportsbook at the racetrack.
A bettor at the sportsbook tweeted that windows closed without some tickets being paid because of a lack of cash on hand. The company denied that claim in a statement Wednesday morning and said all outstanding bets will be paid.
It’s the first such issue reported in any of the new operations in New Jersey sports betting. What exactly happened is subject to some debate.
Late-night games create a late-night problem
Here is the on-the-ground report via Twitter:
FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy sent a statement from the company in response to the situation:
“The FanDuel Sportsbook’s business hours of operation last night were to 1 AM, as clearly posted throughout the facility. Once 1 AM hits, our cages are closed. We cannot take wagers or pay out wagers after that time. To be clear, there was no issue with cash on hand. All customers are welcome to return today to collect any winnings, or to mail in any winning tickets for payment.”
The same bettor suggested that cash, however, was a problem based on his conversations:
Most of the sportsbook’s cash was put away in the vault for the evening, according to an ESPN report. That left just a small amount on hand to pay some bets, while other bettors were told to come back the next day.
FanDuel did not respond immediately to a question about which bets were paid at the end of Tuesday night.
How another New Jersey book is handling it
According to ESPN, Dennis Drazin from Monmouth Park said his William Hill-branded operation is flexible:
“What we’ve been doing is if a game is close to being over and there are enough people still watching in the book, we’ll stay open for them,” Drazin said. “Now, if there are only a couple people in the book and the game lasts way past closing time, they may be asked to come back the following day to cash their tickets.”
Growing pains as interest swells
Meadowlands/FanDuel and other new outfits likely will deal with operational issues as they work toward the big business of football season. It rarely becomes an issue in Las Vegas, where bettors often can take their tickets to the casino cage to cash them.
Whenever Meadowlands chooses to start online and mobile sports betting, that will alleviate this type of situation for many bettors.
The first nine days of New Jersey sports betting at Meadowlands generated nearly $3.5 million in handle. That bodes well with a light sports calendar during that time.