Caesars Sportsbook fined for wrongly denying hockey payout

Sports Betting Caesars Fined
Photo credit AP News/Ennio Leanza

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey gambling regulators have fined Caesars Sportsbook for wrongly refusing to pay out over $27,000 to a gambler who made winning bets on an international hockey game last year.

The dispute involved whether goals scored in overtime should count in determining whether bets are winners or losers. It's the same type of pitfall many soccer bettors may soon face during soccer's World Cup tournament, where bets are usually graded based on what happens during regular time.

The state Division of Gambling Enforcement fined Caesars $500 for wrongly insisting that the man's hockey bets were losers.

Caesars Sportsbook did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.

The division issued a ruling in the case on Nov. 10. The Associated Press requested details of the ruling on Nov. 17, but the division did not release those details until Nov. 28.

It involved a Dec. 22, 2021 game in the Kontinental Hockey League, based in Europe and Asia, on which a patron whose identity was redacted from official documents placed in-game bets on a game involving the teams Vityaz Podolsk and Dinamo Riga.

The gambler bet that there would be over 4.5 goals scored during the game. Five goals were scored during the game, including overtime.

But Caesars marked the bets as losers and refused to pay the patron, according to documents in the case.

The gambler contacted Caesars and was told that the bets did not include goals scored in overtime and that the bets were losers. The gambler disagreed, and said that Caesars terms of service stated otherwise.

The enforcement division agreed and sided with the gambler, ordering Caesars to pay the bets as winners, and fining it $500; it could have imposed a penalty of up to $2,000.

“The patron's interpretation is correct,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Charles Kimmel in an Oct. 20 letter to Caesars. “Overtime is excluded unless the specific market says otherwise. This market unambiguously stated that overtime and shootout goals would count.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: AP News/Ennio Leanza