FanDuel Sportsbook Already Generating Plenty of Bad Beats — For Itself

Juan Carlos Blanco August 1, 2018
FanDuel Golf

Typically, you tread lightly when you’re the new kid on the block — whether in a classroom or at the workplace on an individual level.

That natural inclination to want to make a good first impression certainly applies from a business perspective as well. No second chance to make a first one and all that good stuff. And there’s value to be had in that line of thinking — many would-be customers say “sayonara” for good after a bad initial experience.

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Yeah, well all that being said — recently, FanDuel Sportsbook has at times come off as if doesn’t seem to give a crap about such drivel. Not if the lines they first posted for the PGA’s 2018 WGC-Bridgestone — incidentally, not their first rodeo with wonky sports betting pricing despite the brief existence of their sportsbook — were to be taken at face value.

FanDuel’s PGA lines raising some eyebrows

Pro poker player Ryan Daut engaged in a very enlightening Twitter expose earlier Wednesday, posting a side-by-side comparison of FanDuel’s lines compared to those of offshore book Pinnacle. “Bad optics” is an understatement:

The glaring discrepancies — and not in the consumer’s favor, mind you — are potentially toxic. Maybe not in a vacuum, but there’s no such thing these days.  Not with social media always at the ready to shine a glaring light on anything remotely negative. And that’s precisely what transpired today.

Wednesday afternoon, FanDuel Customer Support’s Twitter account issued the following “mea culpa” in response, albeit many hours after trouble began brewing:

“Growing pains” or disturbing pattern?

To compound things, it’s not the first such instance that the nascent FanDuel sports betting wing experiences some negative press. They also managed to raise the ire of more than a few bettors by not paying out some of last Tuesday’s winning tickets at their Meadowlands Racetrack location until the following day.

They were divergent perspectives in that situation — one bettor took to Twitter in that instance as well to say there hadn’t been enough cash on hand, which FanDuel pushed back on. The company issued a statement stating that the situation was brought about by a late-running MLB game that went past the closing time for their teller windows. Nevertheless, as with Wednesday’s golf lines, the damage, in terms of negative perception/publicity, was done.

And this isn’t even the first time there are legitimate “vig”-related grumblings, as the sportsbook also drew criticism for its steep MLB lines when it opened July 14.

When jumping into a brand new space, missteps are to be expected to an extent, and bound to happen. However, FD seems to be treading into more of “troublesome pattern” territory at this point, a far-from-ideal way to kick off an operation that has so many eyes on it.

The ease with which potential customers can make comparisons these days is creating a highly undesirable circumstance — it’s making FD’s odds of early success steeper than their own lines.

 

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