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Sports Betting Sites Crashed Ahead of Super Bowl

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Feb/08/2021

FanDuel, DraftKings, Penn’s Barstool App and BetMGM all experienced technical issues just before and during the Super Bowl.   FanDuel and DraftKings each broke the Top 10 apps in The Apple Store on Sunday.

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FanDuel's issues were most prominent in the state of Michigan, where its real money site launched recently.

In a statement, the company said the outages were intermittent and a result of demand that exceeded expectations but insists at no time did its platform stop operating.

FanDuel and Draftkings spent heavily on advertising ahead of the Super Bowl.

For a number of years offshore sportsbooks experienced similar crashes, primarily the hours leading up to the Week 1 regular season game.  By Super Bowl Sunday, most books had already boosted their infrastructure based on early season needs.  Offshore books did not advertise heavily the weekend of the Super Bowl however.

“We all expected this to be a record-breaking event for online and mobile gambling,” one leading executive told CNBC. “We had tech meeting after tech meeting leading up to Sunday to make sure things ran smoothly.”

Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sports app went down, blaming third-party tech issues.

Draftkings blamed its provider Kambi.  It intends to terminate the current contract with Kambi in September, but that could happen sooner based on the Super Bowl glitches.

In a statement, DraftKings said, “It appears this outage was caused by a surge in traffic that caused problems for our backend provider. Our DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) and pools products, supported by in-house technology, are functioning without issue. This incident is why we believe owning our own technology is important.”

Here were the big payouts reported by FanDuel following the big game:

$1.7M paid out to tails bettors

$3.1M for Gronk getting first TD

$650K for Gronk's 2nd TD

$27M from pre-game betting on Tampa (spread and money line)

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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