Tech Issues Kept Bettors From Placing Super Bowl Wagers

    • Users of multiple popular sports betting apps were unable to place wagers as kickoff for Super Bowl LV approached Sunday.
    • Apps pointed to backend providers as the reason for the outage.

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Users of multiple popular sports betting apps were unable to place wagers as kickoff for Super Bowl LV approached Sunday. 

While FanDuel had outages in Michigan and Illinois, DraftKings, Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook and BetRivers appeared to have suffered widespread issues that continued well into the Big Game. 

“We’re aware customers were unable to access our mobile and online Sportsbook,” a DraftKings spokesperson told Front Office Sports. “It appears this outage was caused by a surge in traffic that caused problems for our backend provider. Our DFS and pools products, supported by in-house technology, are functioning without issue. This incident is why we believe owning our own technology is important.”

A Penn National spokesperson added: “Our service providers have been experiencing some technical difficulties and are working to correct the problem as quickly as possible.”

While neither DraftKings or Penn National named the exact source of the issue, a person with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports that international betting technology firm Kambi had technical difficulties Sunday.

On Monday, Kambi detailed the issue to Front Office Sports caused by “one specific player-related bet” that “resulted in a backlog in our overall bet validation process which subsequently impacted overall performance.”

Kambi counts DraftKings, Penn National and BetRivers as clients, according to its website.

“These issues were not connected to the overall load on the Kambi systems, which was in excess of three times that of last year’s Super Bowl and at levels expected and in general handled without issue by Kambi,” the company said in a statement.

Betting is legal in 21 U.S.  jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.), seven more than at the time of last year’s Super Bowl. An American Gaming Association survey estimated a record 7.6 million bets would be placed on the Super Bowl at online sportsbooks, 63% more than 2020. 

Given the outrage many expressed online, it appears a number of the expected bets couldn’t be placed.