Nevada Fines William Hill $100,000 For Sports Betting Failures

William Hill has been fined $100,000 by the Nevada Gaming Commission for system flaws that resulted in numerous duplicate bets over a period of seven years. A large number of patrons who lost bets with the operator during that time actually lost twice.

The Nevada Gaming Commission slapped a $100,000 fine against William Hill, owned by Caesars Entertainment, for a series of infractions that resulted in erroneous duplicate wagers. While some bettors won twice on a single bet, most lost twice.

The errors came from a system flaw with the sportsbook’s sports and cashless wagering system. The mistake on the platform went on for seven years.

William Hill settled with the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) on August 17, which then led to the fine.

During the time frame, the flaw processed more than 50,000 incorrect duplicate wagers, and resulted in a subsequent loss of $1.3 million.

An internal investigation by William Hill found 42,000 incorrect duplicate losing wagers in Nevada through December 2021, as well as 13,000 duplicate winning bets, the latter worth about $2 million.

In outlining the underlying causes of the system failures, the settlement represents a number of areas Caesars—the owner of William Hill—discovered to be insufficient, said Jeffrey Hendricks, who serves as assistant general counsel of regulatory and compliance at Caesars Entertainment.

“That is not the standard we set operationally. That is not the standard we set from a compliance perspective,” Hendricks told the commission.

Sometime in June 2021, repeated customer complaints to William Hill triggered a need to remove the flaw in the CBS wagering system.

The company discovered the duplicate bets were most likely to occur at periods of peak traffic.

The issue arose when a customer attempted to place a bet on his mobile app, then subsequently placed an identical wager on the same event, with the same odds, for the same dollar amount within a period of 60 seconds from the original wager, William Hill’s internal investigation determined.

The theory, according to the company was that the system came under a heavy load, resulting in wagers backing up.

If a bettor placed a $5 wager on a given event, the flaw resulted in a second identical bet of $5 to be deducted from the customer’s account, according to Hendricks. William Hill attempted to refund customers who inadvertently placed duplicate losing bets in full but has not been able to locate all of the customers, Hendricks added. William Hill admitted they don’t know how many losing bets were returned.

William Hill told Commissioner Ogbonna Brown a system patch attempted to correct the deficiency, but the gaming board was not informed for three months. Regulations require notification within three days.

Last month, Caesars Entertainment Executive Vice President Eric Hession said the company will convert all of Caesars’ branded apps and sportsbooks to the company’s Liberty tech stack by the end of the year.

Commissioner Steven B. Cohen criticized the respondents for a failure to report the matter in an expeditious fashion on numerous occasions.