KBO parlay controversy ends with NGC ruling in favor of BetMGM sportsbook

The BetMGM sportsbook will be allowed to void more than $200,000 in Korean and Chinese baseball parlays after the Nevada Gaming Control ruled in their favor, according to ESPN’s sources.

Bettors had taken advantage of KBO League and Chinese Professional Baseball League games that had already started and were incorrectly entered into the BetMGM system in June. A group of gamblers placed the wagers between 1:30-3:30 a.m. PT on June 28 at the Bellagio’s self-serve kiosks in Las Vegas.

Sources told ESPN that there were around 50 parlays placed after the games had already started. The biggest potential payout was a 10-leg parlay that would have cashed for more than $137,000.

Some bettors cashed tickets before the sportsbook became aware of its error, but the remaining tickets will be voided. Several bettors involved in the decision confirmed to ESPN that the bets are being rescinded.

“This is sort of the perfect storm [for the sportsbook], where you have reduced staffing because of the pandemic,” Mac VerStandig, a Las Vegas-based gaming attorney, told ESPN.

“You have international events that are being wagered upon heavily because of the pandemic, and the large potential payouts of the parlays are not raising suspicions because there’s absence of domestic action.

“With the four major American sports on hiatus, a gambler has to gamble. It’s the thing out there. ESPN is televising it. So, it does seem like the perfect storm.”

All four KBO games that were included in the parlay tickets began at 1:00 a.m. and ended prior to 4:00 a.m. PT. The NC Dinos (-110) broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning of their game against the Doosan Bears, which allowed bettors to place wagers on the Dinos and the ‘under’ 9 runs.

The KT Wiz Suwon and Hanwha Eagles combined for seven runs in the first two innings, making the ‘over’ 9.5 runs a value bet prior to the wager locking. The lone CPBL game included in the parlay was the Uni Lions (+150), who jumped out to a 10-2 lead by the sixth inning.

Neither BetMGM nor the Nevada Gaming Control regulations explicitly address betting on events that have already started. However, NGC regulations do prohibit sportsbooks from unilaterally rescinding wagers without written approval from gaming control.

This is not the first instance of “past-posting” in Las Vegas, but the wagers included some of the biggest potential payouts.

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