A few days ago, an almost-lucky sports gambler, Rufus Peabody, lost his shot at $1 million during the DraftKings Championship because, according to the gambling platform, he didn’t get his bet in on time. He still took home $330,000 on a $10K bet, but there’s a big gap between $330K and $1 million. Now, New Jersey regulators want to know if DraftKings fumbled the ball or if the company legitimately played by the rules.
This past Monday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said that it is reviewing the tournament in order to determine if any foul play is at hand. The DraftKings Championship is the first competition of its kind to be offered in the state since lawmakers approved sports gambling last year.
Those participating in the competition could place wagers on two NFL playoff games. The matchup between the LA Chargers and the New England Patriots ended only briefly before the beginning of the Philadelphia Eagles-New Orleans Saints game, which didn’t allow much time for gamblers to receive their winnings from the first contest to be able to bet on the second.
After it surfaced that Peabody had missed out on a $1-million prize, DraftKings issued a statement, holding fast to the rules. A company spokesperson, James Chisolm, stated, “We recognize that in the rules the scheduled end of betting coincided very closely to the finish of the of Patriots-Chargers game. While we must follow our contest rules, we sincerely apologize for the experience several customers had where their bets were not graded in time to allow wagering on the Saints-Eagles game. We will learn from this experience and improve upon the rules and experience for future events.”
Some gamblers argued that the window for allowing bets to be placed was, for them, greatly reduced. They assert they were only given three minutes to place their wagers. Chisholm responded to this, stating, “As with all mobile sports books, there is always some time period required for the back end systems to grade the market and the pay out to occur.”
Sports gambling is still relatively new in the U.S. and the industry has not been without problems. A “computer glitch” cost a FanDuel customer about $82,000 in winnings from an NFL bet last September, but the company ultimately decided to play nice and paid the bet.