NATIONAL NEWS

No fooling: Fan Duel fined for taking bets on April Fool’s Day on events that happened a week before

Jul 10, 2024, 12:01 PM

Workers at the FanDuel sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford N.J. prepare to ...

Workers at the FanDuel sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford N.J. prepare to take bets moments before it opened on July 14, 2018. On July 8, 2024, New Jersey gambling regulators revealed they had fined FanDuel $2,000 for taking bets in 2022 on mixed martial arts fights that had already happened a week earlier. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — It might have seemed too good to be true, but there it was, and on April Fool’s Day, no less: One of the country’s leading sports books was taking bets on mixed martial arts fights that had already happened a week earlier.

FanDuel accepted 34 bets on the fights that were promoted by the sports book as live events scheduled to take place on April 1, 2022.

But the fights had actually taken place a week earlier, on March 25.

New Jersey gambling regulators fined FanDuel $2,000 for the mistake, and the company paid out over $230,000 to settle the bets.

FanDuel declined comment Wednesday on the fine, which it agreed to pay.

But the state Division of Gaming Enforcement said in a letter made public on Monday that FanDuel said it was not notified by its data-feed providers that the Professional Fighters League matches were actually a recording of events that had already happened.

Instead, FanDuel’s trading team manually created betting markets based on information they obtained directly from the Professional Fighters League, New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Gina DeAnnuntis wrote.

“FanDuel confirmed that its traders failed to confirm with PFL that the event had previously occurred and was being presented via a tape delay,” she wrote.

FanDuel told the state that on April 1, 2022, it took 26 online wagers and eight retail wagers worth $190,904 on the events.

Afterwards, FanDuel received a notification from the International Betting Integrity Association, which monitors sports betting transactions, looking for suspicious activity or out-of-the-ordinary patterns, that the events it was offering odds on had already happened.

FanDuel paid off the wagers in the amount of $231,094, according to the state.

The fine from New Jersey regulators was imposed on Jan. 2 but not made public until this week. The state also required FanDuel to update its internal controls to prevent such events from happening in the future.

It was not the first time a sports book operating in New Jersey mistakenly took bets on something that had already happened.

In 2021, 86 gamblers put down bets on a British soccer game that had already happened the day before. The bets were voided, and New Jersey regulators fined the Malta-based sports betting technology company Kambi Group and Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive $1,000 apiece. In that case, the companies had offered a so-called proposition or “prop” bet on whether Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford would score a goal in a May 13, 2021, soccer game between Manchester United and Liverpool. (He did.)

But because a Kambi trader located in England mistakenly entered a start date of May 14 for the game, it enabled people to place bets on the event after it had ended when it was known that Rashford had already scored.

Last week, New Jersey regulators revealed that they had fined DraftKings, another major national sports book, $100,000 for reporting inaccurate sports betting data to the state.

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Follow Wayne Parry on X at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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No fooling: Fan Duel fined for taking bets on April Fool’s Day on events that happened a week before