FanDuel Sportsbook Avoids Colorado Investigation With Settlement

Posted on August 27, 2020 - Last Updated on August 31, 2020

FanDuel Sportsbook managed to avoid another regulatory investigation because of a mistake, this time in Colorado.

The company came to an agreement with a bettor that accused FanDuel of not paying out his parlay bets that he said should have won because of a loophole he found.

Details of the agreement are private.

JaVan Kimmel shared screenshots of his bet slips and conversations with FanDuel, where he stood to win nearly $16,000 from four parlays. His wife also submitted two parlays that would have paid out around $1,000.

Kimmel had previously turned down multiple settlements. Those offers included a refund of his nearly $5,000 in bets.

FanDuel Sportsbook did not comment officially on the incident. But a source inside the company tells LSR FanDuel felt Kimmel was confused about his bets, and attempted to educate him and correct the situation.

What was the FanDuel Sportsbook mistake this time?

The issue in Colorado sports betting was different than the pricing errors FanDuel paid out in New Jersey twice before, including a recent incident blamed on an outside vendor.

The parlays involved double chance bets on multiple NHL playoff games and a few European soccer games. Double chance bets involve the bettor picking two of three options:

  • Home team wins
  • Away team wins
  • Draw

Double chance bets are typically settled at the end of regulation. But FanDuel didn’t specify the bets were settled in regulation on its site when those bets were placed.

House rules vary?

FanDuel’s Colorado house rules for US ice hockey specifically state:

“Overtime (including any subsequent shootout) counts for all markets unless stated otherwise.”

Other sportsbooks, like BetMGM, did note the double chance bets were for regulation only, according to a screenshot:

Kimmel chose either team to win since, of course, a draw in the playoffs isn’t an option. But when multiple games went into overtime, FanDuel graded those legs as losers:

Double chance or double result?

According to the chat logs reviewed by LSR, it would seem there’s some confusion within FanDuel about the difference between a double chance and a double result bet.

Multiple FanDuel employees told the bettor the market didn’t need a qualifier about regulation since double result bets are always decided in regulation. Some employees also seem convinced the two sports betting markets are the same:

Kimmel: Back to my question. Are you saying the Double Chance and Double Result is the exact same bet?
FanDuel Sportsbook Customer Service Supervisor: Correct

FanDuel defines double result as a bet “settled on the score of the game at the end of the 1st and 3rd Periods” in its Colorado house rules. To complicate matters even more, the house rules do not define double chance bets.

What did Colorado regulators do?

Technically, nothing.

There’s a mandatory waiting period of 10 business days to give operators and the complaining party a chance to settle differences.

The issue was resolved two days before the end of that waiting period.

Not FanDuel Sportsbook’s first regulatory rodeo

FanDuel Sportsbook has talked to regulators a few times about mistakes at their books.

The first came in 2018 when a pricing mistake up for 18 seconds led to paying out six figures in tickets and free bets on an error in a Denver Broncos game in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement didn’t require payment that time around. But the regulator did for its second well-publicized mistake, which happened earlier this month.

That incident involved incorrect prices on an MLS soccer game and some European games that were up for more than a day.

There were big bets placed on the line in Indiana as well. But state law allows operators to cancel bets over “obvious error.” The Indiana Gaming Commission still looked at the incident for potential action, however.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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