What are the chances that your winning bet on a football game is rendered invalid due to a post-game score change? Pretty slim, right? But that’s what happened to one unlucky son of a gun, Steven Frith from California, when Pac-12 Conference officials changed the score of a USC-Utah football game in September two hours after it ended; swinging results in most sports books from the Utes to the Trojans.
However, after weeks of niggling at the Navada Gaming Control Board, the USC fan has now received his $200 cheque after the board ruled in his favour. In a report by The Washington Post, Steven said: “I’ve lost plenty of money in casinos over the years. It seems only fair that they actually pay on the occasions I do win.”
Steven wasn’t the only one to cry injustice. According to the regulators, they had been inundated with calls from gamblers and casinos after the score had been changed, but remarkably there seems to be no reports of other bettors like Steven claiming their much deserved earnings. Perhaps he’s the only one who’s manage to wing it?
Nevertheless, here’s how it happened:
- USC ultimately won the game 23-14, but its last touchdown which was scored in the final minutes wasn’t counted in the box score at first due to its bench pouring out onto the pitch to celebrate like a group of raving baboons.
- Therefore, the score was originally given as 17-14.
- Two hours after the game, the Pac-12 officials said the “unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are dead ball fouls by rule”, but this one was automatically declined by rule because the game ended.
- Two days later, the officials clarified that the referees on the field called the play properly.
In the eyes of most USC fans, or those that didn’t bet on the game, the score didn’t change too much. It was still a win. But USC was favoured by roughly 8.5 points in most sports books in Sin City so there was a huge uproar by bettors who had thrown away their tickets, with many poring over the technicalities of house rules to see how their casino was going to handle the situation.
Steven told the paper that he spent pretty much all his weekend trying to convince officials at the Aria Resort & Casino to pay up. And he’s lucky that they did as many other bookmakers, including those owned by Caesars Entertainment, said the 17-14 score was the one they were standing by. Why? Because as Todd Fuhrman, a sports analyst with Caesars, said in the report – their house rules state the score on the field when the game ends is the result that gets paid. You can’t blame them for keeping it simple.