On Sunday, Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus booted a game-winning field goal against the Oakland Raiders.
Just before the McManus kick, several bettors in New Jersey made in-play wagers with the FanDuel Sportsbook on the Broncos to win — the most prominent being a $110 bet. This bet should have paid -600 odds if the Broncos won, according to FanDuel. However, the tickets issued had a price of +75000 because of a glitch in the pricing system.
At first, FanDuel refused to pay Anthony Prince of Newark, NJ the erroneous $82,000 price listed on his ticket. FanDuel was more than willing to pay the intended price of $18 that the wager should have paid.
The news of FanDuel’s refusal made national news and found its way to McManus, who let his opinion known via Twitter on Thursday.
Well, maybe the new American sportsbook operator took McManus’ words to heart. Maybe it was tired of the negative publicity. Whatever the reason, FanDuel decided to pay the man the full price on his wager. Four days after the game and hours after the kicker tweeted, FanDuel agreed to pay Prince the full $82,000 payout that was on his $110 betting ticket.
Athletes are paying attention to sports betting
For years, it’s been easy for professional athletes to brush aside their understanding about sports gambling. They’ve claimed ignorance to betting odds and point spreads. After all, the only place to legally wager on sports in the United States was the small state of Nevada.
It won’t be so easy to claim ignorance now that larger states are legalizing sports betting. The FanDuel Sportsbook is located at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The sportsbook shares a parking lot with the New York Jets and New York Giants. East Rutherford, New Jersey is part of the New York City media market as much as it’s part of the northern New Jersey media market.
Expanded legalized sports betting is becoming part of mainstream media like never before. There’s really no way to avoid major sports betting news. Brandon McManus retweeted an article about the FanDuel error from Yahoo. He could have shared the story from a number of mainstream media outlets, including ESPN, Forbes, and NPR.
Athletes and coaches are aware that people are gambling on their games. They’ve known that for years but no longer can they hide from this admission. In the past, athletes may have been able to pass off sports betting due to legality. That’s no longer possible.