It was a great idea. Offering a special to customers in Indiana who would place a bet on their NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts, on Sunday. It sounded like a brilliant plan for DraftKings, but oh how quickly that brilliant idea went awry.
It was the perfect set up. DraftKings had launched its mobile app in Indiana on Thursday. To appeal to the state’s consumers, the online sportsbook opted to offer a special money line for the Colts when they took on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The line had been set at +460, but the sportsbook opted to increase the money line to +1000 for Indiana customers only.
It was a great idea. The sportsbook was looking to create the same kind of foothold in the Hoosier state that they had in New Jersey. DraftKings has been very successful there, ranking as one of the top two sportsbooks in the state.
A maximum limit of $10 could be placed on the bet. So, it seemed that there wasn’t much that DraftKings could lose. That is if you don’t believe that $300,000 is that much money.
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When kickoff began, 38% of the online website’s customers opted to take advantage of this bet. What a smart idea that was. The Colts prevailed over Kansas City, 19-13. That meant that DraftKings was forced to pay out over $300,000 in what is arguably the biggest upset of the young NFL season.
While that was a big blow to the sportsbook in Indiana, most bettors took a bath because of the results of that game. The upset killed many of the money-line parlays across the United States. For example, one New Jersey man needed a Chiefs victory to win a $150,000 award in a two-team parlay. He was victorious in the first leg when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime. However, the Colts upset ruined his day.
The same can be said of another man who had $200,000 on the line in New Jersey. A Chicago Bears loss had him in line for the big reward until the Chiefs laid a big egg.
Despite the payout, $300,000 is no big loss to DraftKings. Considering that they likely spend that amount on promotions and advertising in the state each week, the story has already generated them every bit of attention they could’ve asked for. However, it would not be surprising to see them unwilling to offer such a wager in the near future.