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Bellagio mistake leads to possibly biggest loss for Las Vegas sportsbooks

July 5, 2020 | 2:20am

The Bellagio might have suffered the biggest ever sportsbook loss in Las Vegas history when it allowed a quarter-million dollars in winning wagers to be placed on baseball games well after they had started.

The winnings were spread among approximately 50 so-called “past-post” bets that were wagered on in-progress Chinese and Korean baseball games, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Human error allowed the bettors to throw down wagers between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. for games that had started around 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

Nearly all were placed on self-serve kiosks at the casino.

One winner scored $137,107.38 on a $250 10-leg parlay. It’s unknown how many bettors were involved.

Seven longtime Vegas bookmakers couldn’t recall a larger loss when asked by the paper.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is investigating the matter to determine whether the books must shell up the cash, ESPN reported.

Past-post errors are fairly common in the sports betting world, occurring occasionally when sportsbook employees enter in wrong start times for games or simply input a typo.

Overseas games in far-off time zones can also cause confusion leading to past-posting, bookies told the Review-Journal.

“It’s happened to all of us,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray told the outlet. “I think every sportsbook probably since the beginning of time has dealt with this at some point.”

Several bookmakers told the Review-Journal that it is common practice to offer past-post bettors the option of either taking the winnings along with a permanent ban from the casino or forfeiting the earnings with the freedom of returning any time.

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But the books are required to turn to the GCB any time there is a dispute around more than $500. The board then investigates the matter and issue a ruling the books must follow.

Robert Walker, USBookmaking director of sportsbook operations, told the outlet that when the GCB gets involved it often sides with the bettors.

“We had [the GCB] come out several times,” Walker said. “We got ruled against most of the time.”

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