Gambling Operators Usually Bail Out When Players Win Due To A ‘Palp’

Gambling Operators Usually Bail Out When Players Win Due To A ‘Palp’ October 1, 2018 October 1, 2018 Carolyn Dutton
 General October 1, 2018 by Carolyn Dutton

Land based and online gambling operators invest heavily into their software and technology to make sure everything is perfect for their players. However, this isn’t always the case as roulette balls can sometimes ricochet off of the wheel and land on the table. Slot machines have been known to jam and online casino apps aren’t immune to freezing up.

Things can go wrong sometimes when players are gambling. Dice bounce off the felt and on to the floor and dealers occasionally misdeal. Sometimes these malfunctions happen and result in a player winning.

However, when this happens, most of the time, the gambling operators refuse to pay up and cite a malfunction as a result of the win.

FanDuel Bucks The Trend

FanDuel boldly strayed from this time-honoured tradition when they agreed to pay $82,000 to a bettor after their computers generated the wrong odds on his football bet. The story began with Anthony Prince of Newark, New Jersey, placing an in-game wager in the dying moments of a football game involving the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders. Due to a brief malfunction, FanDuel’s computers mistakenly gave extremely inflated odds to a dozen bettors. Instead of paying out a few dollars on Prince’s $110 wager, his bet slip promised him a whopping $82,000.

When Prince went to cashier’s window to collect on his winning bet, he was told that there was an obvious error and that the bookmaker was not obliged to pay him. Industry officials and regulators refer to these situations as “palps” which is short for palpable errors. When palps occur, it is usually left up to the bookmaker to determine how it should be handled. One thing that is blatantly obvious is that a high-probability bet should not pay out $82,000. However, FanDuel gave in after a few days and paid Prince the full amount. They also honoured the other 11 bets that were placed with the inflated odds.

Mistakes Are Common

Not every gambler is so lucky though. One woman decided to sue Resorts World casino after her slot machine jackpot of nearly $43 million was voided in 2016 when it was ruled that the machine malfunctioned. In Canada, a man was mistakenly told on two occasions that he had won a $1 million jackpot only to be told that the top payout was $4,000.

There are plenty of other stories of machine malfunctions and frozen apps that have voided bets and caused plenty of frustration. So if you do end up winning big money and the casino claims that it was due to a palps error, don’t get your hopes too high!

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world