D Las Vegas decided to issue refunds to gamblers who lost their bets on the Seattle Seahawks – Green Bay Packers NFL game on Monday, American gambling news sources reported.
Most agencies and casinos taking bet on sports in US reported that the vast majority of gamblers put their money on the favorite Packers before the game. However, a controversial call made by replacement officials, soon dubbed “Touchception” by the media, saw the underdog Seattle team win the game.
The D Las Vegas promises to refund all losing straight and money line bets made on the Packers until Sunday. There is only a little note: the refunds are only applicable if the bets were made at the casino’s sportsbooks. Legal experts say Nevada and federal American gambling laws do not specifically forbid the refunding of bets should the bet takers decide to do so.
D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens explained his decision to the Associated Press by saying: “I know exactly how it would feel if I was laying the number and I saw what happened.” PR experts say that downtown Vegas casino is clearly trying to get good publicity for their establishment.
The Las Vegas sports betting industry did not welcome the publicity stunt at all. Many worry that such a refund is a bad example, and gamblers might expect other casinos to follow D Las Vegas’ decision.
Race and sports book director at The Las Vegas Hilton casino, Jay Kornegay, commented: “Whenever there are bad calls we’re going to start refunding? Based on what? We’re supposed to pay out winning wagers based on official final scores by the league, in this case the NFL.”
So far no other Vegas casino followed the D’s example, although some offshore online betting agents have also considered issuing refunds.
The D Las Vegas, a 638-room hotel and casino, is in the middle of renovating its facilities. The PR move can be considered as an effort to rebrand their casino.
It is not clear exactly how many refunds the casino will actually have to issue. As it usually happens, many bettors threw away the betting slip after the referee’s decision.