BetMGM Pays out $214,000 Parlay to Virginia Math Teacher
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Kris Benton was picking up his daughter from daycare on Friday when the message came in.
It was a lawyer from BetMGM telling him the sportsbook had decided to honor his bet.
Benton — a high school math teacher in Virginia who doubles as the soccer coach — soon logged into his BetMGM account and saw the eye popping number: +$214,500.
The bet, a same game parlay for Netherlands to have the most corners in their game against Vietnam (bet three times), a clean sheet (bet twice) and for Netherlands to score first had 66/1 odds, despite Netherlands being a -10000 favorite.
On Aug. 1, when Benton won, instead of getting the cash, he got his original $3,250 back as the book said it mispriced the odds.
Acceptable? BetMGM’s terms and conditions (similar to all sportsbooks), allow it to clawback winnings with obvious errors. But when the Action Network told Benson’s story, social media blasted BetMGM.
Then the Virginia Lottery, which runs sports gambling in the state Benton made his bet, got in contact with BetMGM to begin the process of looking into whether BetMGM’s reasoning was sound.
It didn’t get far.
Just eight days after that conversation, BetMGM reached out to Benton and told him his bet would be honored.
Said the lawyer on the message: “We hope you will continue to bet with us.”
The Virginia Lottery said in a statement to the Action Network that it is in contact with BetMGM about the matter.
Situations like this, of course, have occurred since online sports betting was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. And historical precedent didn't bode well for BetMGM.
In 2018, FanDuel initially balked at paying out over $82,000 for a mispriced line during a game between the Raiders and Broncos. With the Broncos down 19-17, but in field goal range, Denver’s odds jumped to +75000, instead of -600, for about 18 seconds. Twelve bettors capitalized, including one who bet $110 to win $82,500.
After refusing to shell out, FanDuel eventually relented and paid that bettor, and the 11 others who bet during that 18-second window.
In early 2022, a similar situation plagued DraftKings.
Before a regular season game between the Warriors and Cavaliers, it was announced that Draymond Green — who was injured — would suit up as a starter, then immediately be taken out of the game in order to honor teammate Klay Thompson, who was returning from a two-and-a-half season absence due to ACL and Achilles injuries.
But DraftKings was slow to react to the news. In its NBA terms and conditions, the sportsbook states all player props are valid as long a participant logs a second of gameplay.
Bettors hammered the under on an array of Green props, costing the sportsbook — on paper — more than $1 million. While DraftKings checked in with regulators and its own legal team as to how to proceed, those wagers weren’t paid out. However, 24 hours later, the unders were honored.