New Jersey regulators: FanDuel's sportsbook must pay up after mistake on soccer odds

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on Thursday ruled that FanDuel's sportsbook must pay out on dozens of disputed soccer bets that were placed in mid-July and led to a monthlong investigation by regulators.

The dispute centered on odds FanDuel offered on the soccer matches and whether the prices posted were the result of an error by the bookmaker. Beginning around July 12 and lasting until July 15, bettors in New Jersey targeted games in MLS, the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

In total, tens of thousands of dollars were wagered on the games over four days in New Jersey, with a potential payout of more than $100,000.

"Today, the [Division of Gaming Enforcement] ruled that a total of 10 online customers and one retail customer who placed wagers on erroneous multiple soccer markets should be paid out after an investigation into a new bet type that was installed by a vendor incorrectly resulted in erroneous lines being made available to customers," Kevin Hennessy, spokesman for FanDuel, said in a statement to ESPN.

"FanDuel Sportsbook appreciates the DGE looking into this matter on our behalf. We regret that this error happened, believe it is important for customers to know that there is a review process for these issues, and thank the DGE for their collaboration in the matter. Customers impacted will receive their winnings in their online accounts immediately and our retail customer has been contacted to come into the Meadowlands to receive his winnings."

The majority of the 50-plus bets made in New Jersey were parlays placed online. However, at least two of the bets, totaling $10,000, were made over the counter at the FanDuel sportsbook at the Meadowlands.

Daniel Leavey, a 29-year-old New Yorker from Long Island visited the sportsbook at the Meadowlands with his father on July 12. On one of the video screens displaying the odds, Leavey noticed an alternate line for an upcoming MLS match: FC Cincinnati +5 goals (-134) versus Atlanta United.

Leavey placed a $5,360 bet on Cincinnati +5 goals and was asked by the teller if he would like to make another bet on the same game. Leavey obliged and put another $4,640 on Cincinnati +5 goals.

When Leavey returned to the Meadowlands sportsbook on July 16, after Cincinnati's 1-0 win, he was told by FanDuel staff that the bets were being held. The bets were frozen for one month, leaving Leavey and the other bettors without their initial stakes and winnings while the DGE investigated.

"Funds are held until an investigation is complete," a spokesman for the DGE told ESPN in an email Thursday.

Leavey is due a net profit of $13,462 from his wagers.

The prices on the goal lines were the result of the error. Odds on a soccer team plus five goals, for example, should have been much shorter than the -134 offered by FanDuel, potentially in the range of -5,000. The pricing also was off on more traditional goal lines, such as +1 or +2.

A bettor at the FanDuel sportsbook at Blue Chip Casino in Indiana also spotted the opportunity and placed numerous parlay bets that included Cincinnati +5 and other soccer games affected by the vendor error.

FanDuel voided the bets in Indiana, as Indiana Gaming Commission regulations allow sportsbooks to cancel wagers "in the event of obvious error, at the certificate holder's or vendor's discretion."

The matter is being reviewed by the Indiana Gaming Commission's compliance committee.