When an apparent USC touchdown was disallowed at the end of the game vs. Utah, the final score was posted as: USC 17, Utah 14. Most sports bettors were pleased with this result since Utah was bet heavily (with the point spread closing USC -8).
Like after any other game, once the final score is confirmed, Las Vegas casinos start paying out the winners – while the losers rip up and discard their tickets.
But then, a few hours later, word spread across the Internet that the Pac 10 had changed the score to USC 23-14. That new score meant that USC bettors won, and Utah bettors lost.
But not so fast! Different Las Vegas sportsbooks handled the score change in different ways!
Many sportsbooks (notably MGM, Caesars, and Wynn) continue to pay Utah tickets, and are refusing to pay USC tickets. Caesars oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman tweated: “We do not recognize defaults prior to the start of the event, suspended games, protests, or overturned decisions for wagering purposes.”
At the MGM bettors were literally screaming at sportsbook supervisors while pointing up at ESPN on the big screens: “Look at the score, USC covered”. All the while the MGM board glowed with the old score, and Utah bettors continued to cash tickets.
Other sportsbooks (notably Hilton, Cantor, LeRoys) reacted to the score change and started paying USC tickets while no longer paying Utah backers. These books deserve credit because they will likely pay out much more than those sticking with the old score, because many Utah bettors cashed in the first few hours after the game (the books have no way to get that money back), and now USC bettors will also be able to cash.
Even more surreal is the fact that many tens-of-thousands of dollars of “winning” USC tickets were discarded after the game – and now litter the floors and fill the garbage cans of sportsbooks across the state.
Reports indicate that the consensus offshore sportsbook decision is to take back the amounts paid to Utah bettors, and credit USC bettors. Note that no cash has been paid, only online credits granted – making reversing the ATS winner much easier. Conspiracy theorist should note that well over 60% of the money bet on the game was bet on Utah, so deciding to pay USC bettors is a big bottom-line win for the offshore sportsbooks.