Last weekend, Super Bowl LV was held, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reigning Champions Kansas City Chiefs, for what was Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl title – a new record.
However, that wasn’t the only record of the day. Sports betting industry reported an unprecedented surge of online wagers placed, resulting in – crashing of operators’ multiple websites!
Not Meant to Be
FanDuel, BetMGM, Penn’s Barstool App and DraftKings all experienced downtime caused by technical issues before and during SuperBowl.
Also, MGM’s Nevada retail sports books were not able to accept any bets during the game.
For many operators, the night which was an opportunity to get many new customers onto their platforms turned out to be a failure. Website crashes and technical difficulties forced some of the budgets sports betting operators to salvage what they can and solve unexpected problems instead.
Just ten minutes before kickoff, MGM’s retail sportsbook noted that it cannot accept bets. The patrons were complaining about it on social media while technical experts worked diligently to fix the issue. MGM’s issues were not solved before the game’s end.
The problem did not go down well with gamblers, who took to social media and did not pick their words carefully when lashing out against the operators.
One of the Twitter users wrote: “How is it that i’m seeing fanduel commercials on my television almost rubbing it in that i can’t even place a bet on your app that crashes any time there’s a reasonably large sporting event.”
FanDuel said, in the statement, that the outages were the result of a “demand that exceeded expectations.” They also said that these glitches were most problematic in Michigan that just legalized sports betting.
One of the executives said in an interview with CNBC: “We all expected this to be a record-breaking event for online and mobile gambling. We had tech meeting after tech meeting leading up to Sunday to make sure things ran smoothly.”
Third-party tech issues were blamed as a reason behind Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sports app outage. DraftKings even went so far to blame their global sports gambling provider, Kambi for their own issues. DraftKings will terminate their partnership with Kambi in September 2021.
Operators who did not experience any technical difficulties during Super Bowl were PointBet and William Hill. PointBet’s CEO Johnny Aitken said that “it helps being in sole control of your own technology.”
“Sports gambling sites crash during Super Bowl amid surging demand”, cnbc.com, February 8th, 2021.