When Betting on Beauty Pageants Gets Ugly: MyBookie Voids Bet Citing 'Public Knowledge'

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

  • Book claimed winner of pageant already known prior to December 17 airing of Miss Universe

  • MyBookie never removed lines after the December 13 "deadline" player claims

  • Book gets blasted by fellow Redditors while others agree with their stance

  • MyBookie made headlines ahead of pageant by offering odds on first transgender contestant

  • In the end, everyone's a winner it seems


The Philippines' Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 on Monday (December 17), beating out contestants from 93 other countries.

Those who bet after December 13 have gotten the cold shoulder from their bookie, in this case MyBookie.  The popular Costa Rican-based book claims knowledge of the winner became public on that date, a few days in advance of the contest airing.

An affected bettor on Reddit cried foul.

The customer explained his side:

According to them, the Miss Universe finalists became public knowledge on 12/13 and all bets placed after that date were voided. However, my bets (only accessible via a screenshot I took) were not voided until late 12/16 (just prior to the event). MyBookie never removed their lines until the day of the event taking place either. Their customer service left me saying they would ‘review accounts and update accordingly at 1 am EST on 12/17’, basically as a way to get me off the phone.

One of the many responses he received, djbayko writes:

Bullshit excuse. There was no public knowledge. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young was specifically hired to maintain the secret until 40 minutes ago, and they did exactly that.

There was speculation on the Internet, sure, just as their is speculation for EVERY fucking event. But it's their job to account for that in their lines. And it's our job to account for that in our wagers.

People are speculating that A Star Is Born will win Best Picture. Others are speculating that the winner will be Green Book. That's how this shit works.

Philippines' Catriona Gray wins

One customer of MyBookie who bet the Miss Universe contest did take their side on this one.

MyBookie is a shady book to begin with and I wouldn't ever use them as a primary book so I am not too surprised. They are actually correct that the prelims of Miss Universe had already started so they should have pulled the bets from the board -- I am not sure I see that much of an issue in what they did because the contest had actually started and that meant contestants were being eliminated hence odds would be changing. Of my bets on MyBookie I did have one placed at that time and I got the same email -- the limits were tiny anyways but the bet I placed after the event started was actually on PR and would have been a loss -- all my other bets were way before that 12/13 deadline though

Another, Ds0589, agreed with that position:

I had a feeling that is what happened I was mentioning and honestly and I can’t believe I’m saying this, that’s fair on mybookies end although insanely not transparent.

In the end, it appears that MyBookie has decided to avoid any additional bad press by simply paying out those who had bet on Miss Philippines after the December 13 date while not counting losing wagers placed past that time.

The original complainant confirmed via Reddit:

Just checked my account after opening a customer service ticket with them asking my Philippines bet to be paid out at +1200 and it was. The MyBookie oddsmaker twitter account (@anonymousgamblr) has stated that any winning wager, no matter when it was placed will be paid at +1200. Open a ticket if your account does not reflect this action.

Not the kind of press MyBookie was looking for - The betting firm hoped to promote this year's pageant by offering odds on first ever transgender contestant

In the majority of cases, bookmakers operating offshore will tend to favor the player when mistakes are made such as lines failing to be pulled on time. 

With MyBookie, the Miss Universe contest offered the sportsbook an opportunity to garner some good press ahead of the competition by offering odds on the first ever transgender contestant Miss Spain even though she was a relative long shot to win.

While some have claimed that legalized sports wagering in the United States will eliminate these types of situations entirely, that wasn't the case earlier in the Football season when FanDuel Meadowlands initially refused to pay a player who was given wrong (and signifantly favorable odds for him) via their live betting platform.  FanDuel ultimately bowed to public pressure and paid in full ($82000).

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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