NJ probes $1M sports gambling tourney with bet timing issues

January 14, 2019 - 1:06 pm

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey gambling regulators are looking into a sports betting tournament held over the weekend in which some competitors were unable to make bets on an NFL playoff game, costing them a shot at a $1 million top prize.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said Monday it is reviewing the DraftKings tournament tournament that is the first high profile tournament of its kind since sports betting was legalized in New Jersey.

Entrants were restricted Sunday to betting on the two NFL playoff games. The Patriots-Chargers game ended shortly before the start of the Saints-Eagles game, leading to some bettors not having their winnings from the early games processed in time to wager on the second contest.

DraftKings apologized for the situation but said it had to follow its own rules.

"We recognize that in the rules the scheduled end of betting coincided very closely to the finish of the of Patriots-Chargers game," said DraftKings spokesman James Chisholm. "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."

The company acknowledged that some competitors had their bets on the early game processed in time for the winnings to be rolled over to bet on the second and final game of the day. But others were not due to the short window of time between games. Several entrants said the gap was as short as three minutes.

"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," Chisholm said.

DraftKings was not the only mobile sports book to experience problems on Sunday. FanDuel's app and site went down for at least 45 minutes during the Saints-Eagles game, angering customers who were looking to make live in-game bets as it unfolded. FanDuel said Monday it is reviewing the cause of the incident.

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