Gambling World Overwhelmingly Sides With Teacher After BetMGM Cancels $215,000 Bet

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

In 2012, was one of a handful of websites that jumped to the defense of a granny after British bookmaker refused to pay out on a 200/1 bet.  What seemed like an eternity was really only a few days before BetFred finally decided to cave and pay Linda Aldred.


Ms. Aldred was the grandmother of Olympian Sam Oldham.  Aldred placed the £5 bet at odds of 200/1 just prior to the start of the London Olympics, claiming it was in loving memory of her husband Eric, Oldham's grandfather, who died in 2006 and "loved a bet".

When Ms. Aldred attempted to collect her £1,000, she was advised by that the bet was actually for an individual medal, not a team medal.

There was outrage in the betting community but BetFred is run by a seasoned professional in Fred Dunn, who realized rather quickly the type of bad press this story began generating and decided to do the right thing.

Fast forward eleven years and we have BetMGM cancelling a $215,000 winning bet a full eight hours after a Fairfax County, Virginia special ed teacher placed a series of two-team parlays.

It's been two weeks now and BetMGM has yet to offer an explanation outside of the payout odds being "an obvious error" "obvious error" that took them eight hours to realize. BetMGM is yet to disclose what the "actual" odds should have been.

BetMGM also neglected to notify the Virginia Lottery of their action in cancelling the $215,000 dispute. had to notify the Lottery, who confirmed they were unaware of the issue.

Our own Thomas Somach reached out to Kris Benton, the teacher at the center of the controversy.  He's now consulting a lawyer and in correspondence with the Virginia Lottery, who appear attentive to this matter.

By early Wednesday morning, Somach's article had gone viral.  By Wednesday night it had become the most trafficked news article on the Gambling911 website ever.

The verdict is in and the gambling community overwhelmingly wants BetMGM to pay Benton.  Even most of those who believe the odds were an "obvious error" felt that BetMGM paying him nothing and offering a $100 free play was outrageous.  This, by the way, is the same sportsbook that ran commercials featuring Jamie Foxx while the poor guy lay practically dying in a hospital for two months.

Benton made three separate parlay bets on the Netherlands vs. Vietnam contest—wagers of $750, $1000 and $1500– at high odds and won all three parlays for a total windfall of $214,500.

BetMGM emailed him soon after the bet was cancelled.

“Obvious errors include but are not limited to the following: wagers offered or placed at odds being clearly incorrect given the probability of the event occurring or not occurring at the time the wager was placed... in your case for the event Netherlands vs. Vietnam there was an issue that caused the corners market to have inflated the odds.

“But they were not supposed to be offered at that price. Therefore we are not able to find out what the correct odds would’ve been. That’s why the wagers were voided.”

Mike Michaels echoed the sentiment of many via his Twitter feed.  Had Benton lost his bet, the sportsbook would have kept his money.  This isn't even up for debate for anyone who has followed this industry as long as we have.  Mike is 100 percent correct.

"MGM should have cancelled the bet before the game. They waited to see if they could take the guys money and when he actually won, they then decided to cancel the bet. @MGMBET do better. I won't be using any MGM betting apps or casinos."

He added: "@BetMGM needs to pay out. They don't say what the correct odds were at any point. I think he bet the correct odds and they are just balking on paying. People should be pulling their money and accounts from MGM, they obviously don't honour the wagers."

Daniel Krauss tweeted: "But if it lost, mgm would have no problem taking his money. Even if it’s an error on mgm side, they need to honor there mistake. Could be a major lawsuit against them. I’ve had issues with them in the past too and there customer service sucks."

eauxpee writes: "Yeah…not buying mgm’s story. according to their email, they had enough info to determine the corners market was inflated, but couldn’t determine the correct odds? if you don’t know what the correct odds are, how can you determine the odds they gave him were inflated?"

And how's this for irony?  Sports Book Review (SBR), which once served as the go-to "watchdog" site for sports bettors before selling out to serve the US regulated market two years ago, has been promoting BetMGM on their Twitter feed the entire time this controversy is ongoing. 

My how times have changed.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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