Packers-Seahawks Refs Betting Impact
Online sportsbooks were hesitant to comment on exactly how much they benefited from the controversial ending of the Seattle Seahawks’ 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
But there was little debate the Seahawks’ upset was good for the books, even if some of them were taking the customer-service opportunity to hand back losing bets to Packer fans.
"We have sent a promo code to every account that lost their spread bet on last night’s Packers game," said Scott Winstone of TopBet. "This gives them a credit of real money. It wasn't a fair ending to the game and we didn't think it was fair to profit from the ref's mistake."
Mike Perry of Sportsbook.ag told ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell that “70 to 80 percent” of the money was on the Packers. Perry told OddsShark.com on Monday morning that he could not comment on how much his book won.
*Editor Note: Sportsbook.com's international site offered refunds to Packer bettors, but the Sportsbook.ag group did not extend the same offer. There was confusion Tuesday over claims that Sportsbook offered refunds.
At Bovada, oddsmaker Kevin Bradley said his book experienced one of the biggest last-minute swing in the company's history.
Multiple Nevada sportsbooks also were reporting having 85 percent of the bets being on the favored Packers. Estimates ranged from hundreds of millions to half a billion dollars changing hands because of the controversial ending.
The Packers were 3.5-point favorites and were leading 12-7 with eight seconds to play when Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone. Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept the pass, but refs ruled Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had simultaneous possession and awarded Seattle the winning touchdown.