The house always wins. Except when it doesn’t.
Via the Associated Press, BetMGM had a typo in a betting line for a prop bet during the Browns-Chiefs playoff game in January. Only nine bettors seized on the mistake; it still cost the sports book $10,000. BetMGM also had to pay another $500 to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, for failing to properly display odds.
The mistake happened in connection with the passing yards prop bet for quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. BetMGM intended the proposition to pay off if Mahomes and Mayfield each threw for 300 or more yards during the game. A mistake in posting the bet dropped the “3”, making the magic number “00”.
Neither player threw for more than 300 yards. Mayfield had 204, and Mahomes had 255 before leaving with a concussion (he’d struggled with a toe injury before taking a blow to the head). Clearly, however, both threw for more than 00.
BetMGM reported the error and sought permission to void the bets via the New Jersey gaming enforcement division. When the state said the bets couldn’t be scrapped until an investigation had been completed, BetMGM decide to let the bets stand.
It’s a smart move by any sports book to honor bets based on mistaken lines, especially since only nine noticed it and acted. Ultimately, it’s a small loss for an industry that, from a big-picture standpoint, will continue to win. And win. And win.