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FanDuel refuses to pay more than $138,000 in winnings after NFL gambling 'glitch'

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — apparently, even in gambling.

While one gambler pocketed more than $80,000 on a $5 parlay bet over the weekend, similar payouts are being withheld from gamblers in New Jersey due to what FanDuel is calling an odds-making error.

Two Jersey parties who placed wagers on plus-75,000 odds for the Denver Broncos to beat the Oakland Raiders with 1:10 left in Sunday’s game received more than $138,000 in winnings from FanDuel SportsBook after Broncos kicker Brandon McManus split the uprights in a last-second 20-19 victory.

FanDuel blames a computer glitch

Except, FanDuel revoked the payouts, suggesting they were the result of an 18-second glitch:

“The wager in question involved an obvious pricing error inadvertently generated by our in-game pricing system,” FanDuel director of publicity Kevin Hennessy said in a statement. “Specifically, near the end of the Sunday afternoon game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, the odds for the Broncos (who had the ball and were trailing by two points at the time) to win were +340 (bet $100 to win $340).

“The next play, the Broncos completed a 26 yard pass to position themselves to attempt a 36 yard field goal to take the lead in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, clearly positioning the Broncos as the favorite to win. At that moment in the game, our system updated the odds and erroneously posted a price of +75,000 on the Broncos to win the game (bet $100 to win $75,000) when the correct odds for the Broncos to win the game at that point in time were -600 (i.e., bet $600 to win $100).

“A small number of bets were made at the erroneous price over an 18 second period. We honored all such bets on the Broncos to win the game at the accurate market price in accordance with our house rules and industry practice, which specifically address such obvious pricing errors.

“We have reached out to all impacted customers and apologized for the error.”

At least three gamblers have come forward

Anthony Prince first came forward to News 12 in East Rutherford, N.J. When he went to collect an $82,610 payout on his $110 wager at the Meadowlands, the teller at the ticket window reportedly refused to honor the bet. According to Prince, they eventually offered him $500 and skybox seats for three New York Giants games. He refused, taking up the issue with the New Jersey Division of Gaming.

“They said their system had a glitch in it and they’re not obligated to pay for glitches,” Prince told News 12. “The other guy said, ‘You should take what we give you because we don’t have to give you [anything] at all.’ I said, ‘Wow, for real?’ The government is taxing it now so I thought it would be a better situation. You’d rather go to the corner bookies now. You’re not getting paid here.”

Likewise, friends Mike Guerriero and Chris Calcano told News 12 that they received $56,325 in their FanDuel account on Sunday after making the same plus-75,000 wager online. By Monday morning, FanDuel had revoked the payout, replacing it with a minuscule return on revised minus-600 odds.

The gaming commission is investigating

It sure seems like FanDuel should honor the wagers they accepted and take steps to ensure real-time bets aren’t subject to glitches that can be revoked without notice after the fact. The question I would have is whether FanDuel has taken steps to correct past glitches that might have worked in their favor.

New Jersey legalized sports gambling in June after a Supreme Court ruling granted states the authority. According to News 12, the state’s gaming commission is investigating these incidents.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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