A teacher in Fairfax County thought he had won $214,500 on Women’s World Cup parlay bets. However, that outcome is in doubt.
BetMGM Sportsbook canceled those bets and refunded the stake money to Kris Benton last week. The sports betting operator cited an “obvious error” with the odds for those bets.
According to an email BetMGM sent to Benton, the odds of +6600 (or 66-to-1) were a mistake when the man placed three separate bets totaling $3,250 on the Netherlands vs. Vietnam Women’s World Cup match played on August 1.
More on the Women’s World Cup parlay resolution
The Netherlands won that match, and Benton thought he was the winner of $214,500. That’s what his BetMGM VA app said. Benton, though, added that when he attempted to transfer $100,000 of the winnings out of his account the following day, the wager had been “cancelled.”
“This was going to be a life-changing moment for us,” Benton told WUSA9-TV in Washington D.C. “And then, in an instant, it was all taken away without any notification whatsoever. I was completely devastated. My wife and I had already started discussing what we were going to do with the money.”
BetMGM has not issued a statement to the media, and PlayVirginia is awaiting a comment from the Virginia sports betting outlet. According to WUSA9, when they reached BetMGM, the company referred them to an email sent to Mr. Benton. That email explained that the listed odds for the Netherlands vs. Vietnam match were “clearly incorrect.”
According to WUSA9, then email read in part:
“There was an issue that caused the corners market to have inflated the odds, but they were not supposed to be offered at that price, therefore, we are not able to find out what the correct odds would have been, that is why the wager was voided.”
Can sportsbooks cancel bets? Sometimes
The question as to whether a sportsbook can cancel a bet is complicated. There are many factors, often outlined in the user agreement between the operator and the consumer, that govern the circumstances of a bet being canceled.
Technically, when a “winning” bet is cancelled, it no longer is a question of whether it won or lost. That wager is void. That is why BetMGM refunded Benton his $3,250 stake for the three separate bets.
According to Benton, his parlays were all on the Netherlands/Vietnam match, but it’s not clear how many legs (or individual bets) he had within each parlay. Odds on a parlay bet are often elevated, because the customer must win all of the legs within the bet.
“They said because of their mistake they can do whatever they wanted to do with my account balance,” Benton told WUSA9. “And on top of that, the mistake they claimed happened, they can’t back that up with any evidence.”
According to Benton, BetMGM offered him a $100 bonus bet for the inconvenience of the cancellation of his parlay wagers.