Barstool Sportsbook Glitches, Hundreds of NFL Bets Voided
Barstool Sportsbook, owned by Penn Entertainment, has voided more than $47,000 in bets on the NFL’s Week 2 game between the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals.
The controversy arose due to a software glitch that saw pregame and live player prop bets fail to update. For example, a bet on Giants quarterbackDaniel Jones (pictured) to score was not taken off the board after he hit a first-half touchdown.
The online sports betting operation also suspended player accounts that had wagered on the glitched bets, with dozens of accounts banned.
Earlier this week, Penn Entertainment was forced to explain itself to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission over the incident. According to Massachusetts online sports betting regulations, wagers in the state cannot be vetoed unless the regulator approves.
That meant Penn admitting a confirmed total of 59 individuals placed 257 bets on the erroneous wagers, many of which were counted as wins for the players. However, there are 16 other states Barstool Sportsbook operates in, so the true numbers could be much higher.
Penn said that, alongside its data partner Swish Analytics, it would have the issue fixed by Thursday’s NFL games.
Barstool Sportsbook itself is soon to be no more, after Penn Entertainment signed off the deal on its imminent rebrand to ESPN Bet.
The game of glitched bets was itself a remarkable one for on-field reasons.
The Cardinals initially led 20-0 at halftime. However, the Giants made a hard-fought turnaround in the second half, ultimately winning, 31-28. Quarterback Jones made NFL history by achieving a unique combination of passing and rushing milestones in the second half.
The response from Penn Entertainment has been somewhat muted. While some users were able to withdraw their winnings before the suspension, many remain locked out of their accounts.
There’s been no clear communication from Penn about potential compensation for the affected bettors, whether in the form of free bets, promotions, or refunds.
The market is now aware of the stats on some of the bets voided. However, in most states Barstool Sports operates in, there is no requirement to publicize vetoed wagers. So, the true total of affected customers could be much higher.
Some outlets suggest as many as 500 bettors in Colorado may have taken advantage of the glitch.
As the confirmed total was $47,000 wagered by just 59 bettors, if hundreds of wagers were placed over the U.S., the incident could total millions of voided bets.
This news comes at a pivotal time for Penn Entertainment. The Barstool Sportsbook brand is soon to be replaced by ESPN Bet. However, forging the deal involved selling the Barstool Sports brand and media operation back to its founder, Dave Portnoy, for a mere $1.
That’s despite Penn previously spending a total of $551 million to acquire the platform in its entirety.
As the dust settles on this incident, many bettors are left frustrated and seeking clarity. While software glitches are not unknown in the world of online betting, the response and resolution from the platform are crucial in maintaining trust with customers.
In some previous situations where sportsbooks have incorrectly priced bets because of operator error, the big sportsbooks have erred on the side of taking the hit.
However, in this case, it seems like it wasn’t just a mistakenly priced bet – but one that was guaranteed to win, as the outcome had already occurred. Which makes it a different ball game entirely, so it is unlikely that bettors will get paid for a win.
As the NFL season progresses, fans of Barstool Sportsbook will be watching closely, hoping for a glitch-free football betting experience.