Sportsbet: Your Trusted Sports Betting Partner – Exclusive: DraftKings and $3M Parlay punter battle for frozen money.
A Florida bettor who placed a highly publicized $3 million parlay bet is considering legal action against DraftKings after the company froze a New Jersey customer’s mobile sports betting account late last month,
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The sponsorship dispute has wide implications for the emerging US sports betting industry, calling into question how often the top sportsbooks engage in selective enforcement of the practice of messenger vetting. The dispute could also shed light on whether major sports betting is operating in a gray area, justifying a practice that could violate a number of federal and state laws. Messenger bets, while difficult to enforce, occur when an out-of-state bettor transmits information through a proxy, instructing the proxy to place a bet in another jurisdiction, usually one with legal gambling.
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Completely on the condition of anonymity, the company said it froze his account on October 23, less than three weeks after he placed a $ 3 million bet that included a forward on the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North. On October 6, the bettor placed two separate bets on an identical 3-team bet – one for $2.93 million and another for $72,490, screenshots obtained by
Show The Florida bettor placed the bets on his DraftKings New Jersey mobile account through a proxy located in the Garden State, multiple sources confirmed.
As of Thursday afternoon, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) does not appear to have completed a review of the matter. When asked if the agency had launched an investigation into the case, DGE representatives declined to comment.
“While this matter is being investigated by the appropriate regulatory authorities, DraftKings has no comment regarding that investigation,” a DraftKings spokesperson said.
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The three-way wager placed last month includes future bets on the Packers to win the NFC North, Alabama to win the SEC West and Georgia to win the SEC East. In total, the bettor will receive a payout of more than $8.5 million if the bet wins. ESPN reported that it was the “biggest parlay bet” DraftKings COO Johnny Avello has taken in more than three decades as a sportsbook operator.
.@DKSportsbook makes biggest mobile sports bet ever: $3 million three-team bet: Packers to win NFC North (-360) Georgia to win SEC East (-110) Alabama to win SEC West (-670) The bet wins over $5.5 million. Posted at 10:49 am on Tuesday and verified by screenshot. — Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) October 6, 2020
JUST IN: The guys at @DKSportsbook took what might be the biggest parlay bet in gaming history. $3,000,000 for Packers, Georgia and Alabama to win their regionals https://t.co/vBZJwC0ynL — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 6, 2020
The punter says his relationship with Avello goes back several years, when Avello was executive director of race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas. During that time, the bettor claims he lost more than $1 million on sports betting at the Wynn in Nevada, where some forms of text betting are legal. Although there are claims that the bettor received written authorization to place sports bets at Wynn by proxy,
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He could not independently confirm the arrangement. Another high net worth gambler from North Carolina appears to have used a bookie to facilitate bets at Wynn, a source said.
Shortly after Avello was hired by DraftKings in October 2018, the Florida bettor took his business to Boston-based DFS sportsbook DraftKings. On this occasion, the bettor claims to have received verbal authorization from Avello to continue betting by proxy.
However, no type of authorization from a sports betting employee, verbal or written, supersedes state or federal regulations regarding text betting, according to Andrew Klebanow, principal of Klebanow Consulting, a Las Vegas consulting firm. Klebanow has spent the last two decades as a consultant to the casino industry.
“It would be a clear violation of state and federal laws, and any sportsbook operator entering into such an agreement is jeopardizing the sportsbook’s license,” Klebanow said.
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On Wednesday night that he was not aware that the parlay in question could have been set by proxy.
Any claim by the customer that he received verbal permission from Avello to place out-of-state bets on his New Jersey mobile account through a proxy is patently false, DraftKings said.
Nevada’s messenger betting regulations differ from states like New Jersey that did not offer legal sports betting before PASPA was repealed in May 2018. Nevada’s gambling regulations allow an out-of-state sports bettor to place a proxy bet , as long as the deputy is not financially compensated for his services, said a former Nevada regulator
. Proxy betting is common in two popular Las Vegas NFL pick contests – the Westgate Superbook SuperContest and the Circa Sports Million Pro Football Contest.
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The bettor of the $3 million bet does not appear to have offered his New Jersey agent any financial compensation for placing the bet, according to the sources. Attempts to contact the deputy were unsuccessful.
New Jersey is stricter with its regulation of messenger betting. The regulations are brief. At the very least, sportsbooks can use best practices by having internal controls that prevent bettors from using a contact – known as a “beard” in gambling parlance – to place a large bet. The controls should also clearly state that it is an offense for a person to place a bet on behalf of another person after gaining access to the bettor’s account.
No licensee may knowingly accept a bet from a person on behalf of any other person. No Licensee shall knowingly allow a person to place a bet using another person’s account. — Rule 13:69N-1.10 — New Jersey Department of Law Enforcement, Sports Betting Standing Orders
At the federal level, the transfer of betting information across states for purposes of placing a sports bet is widely considered a violation of the Wire Act of 1961, according to a prominent sports betting attorney. A crime could be as innocuous as someone making a phone call from Manhattan to a friend a few miles away in Fort Lee, N.J., to place a $10 bet on the Jets.
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DraftKings appears to have taken the necessary steps to protect itself from text message betting, at least formally. In many cases, it is not in the best interest of a major sportsbook to accept large bets by proxy, as Klebanow demonstrates. When a large bet is placed by a trusted customer, a book can respond accordingly by adjusting its lines based on the size of the bet and the customer’s betting habits.
But with messenger betting, a “whale,” or a customer known for consistently making large bets, can crack a bet through a technique called “structuring.” For example, instead of betting $2 million on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, a customer or syndicate can place four separate bets of $500,000 each, or possibly 10 bets of $200,000 each – building any type of structured bets. a bet that hides the identity of the original customer. A series of smaller bets usually attract less attention and are likely to raise fewer red flags from a sports betting and regulatory perspective.
Regulations as well as robust Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols can protect the bettor and the operator at the same time. In a pre-PASPA Las Vegas book, a bettor trying to place a modest bet at the counter discovered that his agent had unknowingly withdrawn several thousand dollars, leaving the account with a zero balance, according to bookies .
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The narrative changes, however, when allegations emerge that sportsbooks are involved in allowing the activity. The Florida punter noted that he had surgery in the middle of the summer before spending the next six weeks recovering at home. During that recovery period, the bettor said, he received frequent phone calls from a DraftKings VIP host asking about any big bets he had in the works.
It has not been determined that DraftKings knew the bettor’s physical location when it made a slew of high-profile bets in recent weeks. But since the start of the football season, it seems the punter has made other big bets:
Despite the litigation, the possibility remains that the alleged suspension of the account stems from a simple misunderstanding. Many bettors are not careful about reading the Terms and Conditions of their favorite sportsbook with a fine print. A Florida attorney, described by sources as a decent-sized gambler, had no idea that out-of-state proxy betting violated New Jersey regulations. It is not clear whether the bettor placed any bets
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