Commerce

FanDuel Suffers $5M Loss In Legal Super Bowl Wagers

Super Bowl betting

FanDuel, a daily fantasy sports provider and bet taker site, said it lost $5 million on the Super Bowl on Sunday after taking some of New Jersey’s first legal sports bets, according to a report in Bloomberg.

FanDuel said that upwards of 75 percent of all the money bet on the game was on the New England Patriots, who were favored. The game was also the lowest scoring in the history of the National Football League.

Many of FanDuel’s customers used introductory offers giving them favorable odds. The company offered odds of 53-1 on either team, but the money was given in site credit, and not an actual payout.

“All of this combined to leave New England as the big loser for the FanDuel Sportsbook,” the company said. “Very big in fact.”

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sports betting could happen outside of Nevada, and a trove of companies — including casinos, sports teams and online outfits — rushed to take advantage of the new rules. Right now, sports betting is legal in eight states, and that number could soon double, analysts say.

Another online betting site, DraftKings, said it paid out $11 million to bettors. Johnny Avello, sportsbook director for the company, said it lost a “relatively small” amount.

“Overall, the players had the best of it,” he said in an interview. “They picked the winning side.”

Nevada seems to be unaffected by the new expansion of sports betting, and William Hill Plc, a leading bookmaker, said business was up after a trying 2018.

Another factor that affected results was a lack of in-game bets, due to the low-scoring game. Usually, bets like how many points will be scored each quarter or number of possessions can increase the betting action. Bets like that can chalk up as much as 70 percent of total bets, according to Dominic Mansour, chief executive officer of Bragg Gaming Group, a sports-betting news site in the U.K.

“When a game is that boring,” he said, “it’s bad for the sport-betting sites.” 

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