On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) approved a $100,000 fine of Caesars-owned sportsbook operator William Hill. The penalty stemmed from a four-count complaint by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) in August.
The NGCB brought a complaint that William Hill accepted illegal wagers and was slow to respond to inquiries on the matter. Another complaint was about a slow response to theft at one of its Nevada sportsbooks.
William Hill’s current owner, Caesars, agreed to pay the $100,000 fine before the approval by the NGC this week.
In Sept. 2021, Caesars started an internal investigation to find out the extent of this problem. The company has fixed the technological problems with a patch on the current software.
Caesars says this issue will be 100% fixed when its Liberty tech stack is green-lit for distribution in the state. The company plans to launch a new Caesars sportsbook app in Nevada later this year.
Duplicate wager complaint against William Hill
The complaints against William Hill occurred over seven years beginning in 2015. The illegal wagers happened before Caesars acquired William Hill early last year.
Throughout that time William Hill accepted approximately 50,000 illegal wagers through its CBS Race and Sportsbook software.
A specific reason for the software failure wasn’t given. It’s believed the system was overwhelmed during busy periods when users of the app became impatient with how slow it was responding. Meanwhile, multiple wagers were placed without the customer’s knowledge.
In addition to accepting illegal wagers, William Hill received this fine, in part, due to a slow response to regulators after the duplicate wagers first transpired.
It does not appear as though William Hill had any intent to profit from this problem. However, regulators feel as if the company should have addressed the issue before Caesars’ internal review last year.
Caesars’ investigation found approximately 42,000 duplicate losing wagers through Dec. 20, 2021. Players lost roughly $1.3 million.
Some of these losses have been repaid. Caesars could not tell the NGC exactly how many users have been remunerated.
The company also found that players profited nearly $2 million from around 12,000 duplicate wagers. The players received these winnings.
While the NGC says the delays in reporting errors are unacceptable, the regulators moved forward with the $100,000 fine.
The board hopes this sends a message to the current owner of William Hill as well as other Nevada sportsbooks.
Fourth count against Nevada sportsbook William Hill
In the complaint, the NGCB stated that William Hill did not respond quickly to customer complaints or regulators when they looked into the duplicate wager errors.
A similar slow response time was the issue with the fourth count against William Hill.
The fourth part of the complaint was regarding a slow response to a theft at its sportsbook at Red Garter Casino in West Wendover, NV. T
The complaint states that a ticket writer placed multiple illegal sports wagers using cash from the William Hill sportsbook. The company was slow to respond to inquiries from gaming regulators.
William Hill has since fired the employee and turned him over to the police.
Improved software and customer service
Caesars has taken numerous steps to ensure this will not be a problem for the parent company or William Hill again. The new sportsbook app software will help but improvements are already underway.
In Nevada, Caesars has doubled its customer service staff. On top of this, the company is using chatbots and third-party customer service representatives for its sportsbooks around the country.
According to Caesars, this combination is allowing the current customer service staff in Nevada more time to deal with any potential issues that may arise.
Recent Nevada sportsbook software glitches
Nevada sports betting apps were the first available in the US. Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, sportsbook operators have been releasing improved sports betting apps around the country.
Since Nevada still requires in-person registration, these apps are not available in Silver State. Nevada’s sports betting platforms have improved over the years but they’re still the best available.
The William Hill app errors are the latest in a series of Nevada sports betting app problems.
Last year, Station Casinos was fined due to software problems. The company accepted nearly 400 illegal wagers over four years.
Caesars will introduce new software for its sports betting app as well as William Hill’s. While Caesars owns William Hill, the company still operates sportsbooks throughout Nevada under the brand name.