Las Vegas sportsbooks may be forced to pay out nearly a quarter-million dollars in winnings after an employee entered incorrect start times for Chinese and Korean baseball games. According to ESPN, bettors managed to place 50 bets on in-progress games between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. last Sunday (June 28). The games were scheduled to start between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., and bets should have been closed once they began.
One gambler managed to win $137,107.38 on a $250 10-leg parlay.
Issues with betting on in-progress games have happened before, but usually, the mistakes just impact one or two bettors.
"It's happened to all of us," Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "I think every sportsbook probably since the beginning of time has dealt with this at some point. We've had past post situations where our employees put in the wrong time or put in the wrong number, or they forgot to close something. It's manual entry, and humans are going to make mistakes."
Executives with other sportsbooks told ESPN that they usually offer to refund the tickets. If the patron insists on being paid out, they can collect their winnings but will be permanently banned from the sportsbook. They said that most gamblers accept the refund.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is looking into the matter and will determine if the sportsbooks are required to pay the winners. If the board rules that the sportsbooks are on the hook for the mistake, it could be one of the costliest errors ever.
Nevada sportsbooks have only recently started to allow betting on Chinese and Korean baseball games. The decision was made because American sports have been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.