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Massachusetts Allows DraftKings to Void Bets Taken On Erroneous Totals, But With One Condition

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Nov 30, 2023 · 1:59 PM PST

Lebron James
  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has allowed DraftKings to void 178 bets taken on a market featuring incorrect game totals
  • As part of the ruling, DraftKings will have to pay users who bet on the market three-times their original stake in cash
  • All told, DraftKings will have to pay out $12,547 to users instead of the total $575,000 liability

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted today to allow DraftKings to void 178 bets taken on an Oct. 24 NBA matchup that featured incorrect game totals as part of a mistake from the sports betting operator’s same game parlay vendor Sportcast.

The commission voted 3-2 in favor of allowing the sports betting company to void the bets and $575,336 in total winnings. However, as part of the ruling, DraftKings will have to pay users who bet on the market three-times their original bet stake.

DraftKings accepted a total of $4,182.36 on the Oct. 24 Lakers and Nuggets matchup. Per the ruling, it will have to pay out a total of $12,547.08 to customers.

Commission Split on Decision

So how did an incorrect game market make its way to the DraftKings platform? Miscommunication from the company’s third-party SGP vendor, Sportcast, led to the mistake. DraftKings representatives informed Sportcast it could not translate first-quarter SGP markets for the Oct. 24 matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets. Sportcast, however, still sent the first-quarter SGP markets over to the sports betting operator and they were incorrectly identified on the platform as full-game markets.

For example, LeBron James’s full-game over/under totals were listed as 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. Those over/under totals should have been listed as first-quarter totals. Incorrect totals were listed for a number of athletes involved in the matchup, not just James.

The markets were open for 13 minutes until DraftKings noticed the error. A total of $4,182.36 was placed on the incorrect markets in Massachusetts and carried a total liability of $575,336 for DraftKings.

In a rare circumstance, opinion was split among commissioners and the final vote was not unanimous. Commissioners Eileen O’Brien and Brad Hill voted against the compromise, as both regulators had concerns that Sportcast made a similar mistake in New York earlier in the year and DraftKings waited until this month to replace the vendor.

A New York bettor recently reported that DraftKings voided $300,000 in winning bets he placed on a January NBA game that featured incorrect odds set by Sportcast.

He placed three separate bets totaling $9,087.32 on Bridges’ first quarter totals, which were set at 2+ points, 1+ rebounds, and 1+ assist. Sportcast advertised incorrect odds of +3500 for the market, when the correct odds were actually just +100. The bets paid off at a total of $318,000, but were voided within several days.

In emails obtained by Sports Betting Dime, it was revealed that DraftKings planned to switch to in-house same game parlay technology following the New York mistake. The operator waited until this month to move to in-house technology for its NBA SGP markets, said Jake List, Senior Director of Regulatory Operations.

O’Brien said she was concerned that DraftKings did not immediately replace Sportcast after the mistake and waited to replace the vendor until this most recent error.

“I’m concerned that the vendor that caused the mistake caused a similar, prior mistake this past year. You made a risk assessment to go with that vendor moving forward,” O’Brien said.

Offering “$500 in bonus bets is woefully insufficient,” she said, when other states such as New Jersey and Connecticut required DraftKings to pay out the full liability.

DraftKings request to void the bets did not meet the void requirements in the Massachusetts sports betting regulations, O’Brien said. The bets were not illegal, those who didn’t bet on the market were unharmed, and the bets did not affect the integrity of the outcome of the game.

Despite O’Brien and Hill’s concerns, the MGC voted in favor to allow DraftKings to void the bets. Seventeen other states have allowed DraftKings to void the bets.

Pay Out Bonuses To All Users

The condition requiring DraftKings to pay out users a three-time stake of their original bet was derived from compensation the company already provided 14 customers in the state that they believed unknowingly bet on the incorrect totals.

Commissioner Nakisha Skinner suggested the compromise and it was supported by Commissioner Jordan Maynard and Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein.

List said the operator provided compensation to 14 users whose parlays contained less than 50% of the incorrect odds. These users saw three-times their original bet stake awarded to them.

As part of the ruling, all 137 customers that bet on the market will receive that compensation from DraftKings for a total liability of $12,547.08.


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