The Bellagio might have suffered the biggest ever sportsbook loss in Las Vegas history when it allowed a nearly quarter-million dollars in winning wagers to be placed on baseball games well after they had started.
According to an ESPN report, Sunday’s bets were allowed to be placed because incorrect start times were posted on some Korean and Chinese baseball games due to a manual entry error. Nearly all of the approximately 50 wagers were placed on self-serve kiosks at the Bellagio between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. when the games in question started at 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., the Associated Press reports. Among the bets was a $250, 10-leg parlay that paid more than $137,100.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is reportedly investigating the matter. Anytime there is a dispute in excess of $500, the state’s books are required to contact the board, which conducts an investigation and makes a ruling the books must abide by.
Seven longtime Las Vegas bookmakers can’t recall a larger loss, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s happened to all of us,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “I think every sportsbook probably since the beginning of time has dealt with this at some point. We’ve had past post situations where our employees put in the wrong time or put in the wrong number or they forgot to close something. It’s manual entry and humans are going to make mistakes.”
Robert Walker, USBookmaking director of sportsbook operations, is still haunted by getting past-posted during his tenure as MGM Resorts sportsbook director from 1996-2008. “I still haven’t gotten over some mistakes I made at The Mirage 20 years ago,” he said. “There’s no worse feeling than when you see a bet come across on a game that’s already started. I got lit up on some halftimes before. If you don’t manually close out the halftime line, they keep betting it and that’s what they did.”