–Kenny Rice

My friend knew he was in trouble as he typed away, “chatting” with a “live operator” at somewhere out there far away from Las Vegas.

The operator responded that my friend had lost his B.J. Penn wager because Jon Fitch “won the fight by majority decision.” That this guy didn’t know the result was frightening in itself. A harbinger of things to come. It was, as most everyone knows who follows the sport, a draw.

For an hour, the operator took a few breaks to consult with his bosses in between, they debated on line about the outcome of the UFC 127 main event. My friend was feverishly sending web links to show the fight had ended in a draw. He claims there was no draw bet option at the time, a 2- way betting line, in Vegas parlance for boxing and MMA events, there should be a refund.

After a frustrating and exhausting sixty minutes, most spent on them figuring out the actual result,  the operator finally typed back—“you bet Penn to win, it was a draw , you didn’t bet that, you lost.”

A Vegas expert on these matters who asks to remain anonymous, says “Most books that post 2- way betting lines like Penn +170 and Fitch -200, a draw is a refund.”  But he adds “it can be tricky sometimes.”

The tricky part is making sure there wasn’t a “draw option” which would make it a 3-way proposition. Not to be disparaging to this particular site, but it shouldn’t be this difficult, and it’s hard to overlook their original argument that Fitch won..

Nick Kalikas, the guru of offered this, ” ALL of the sportsbooks I consult with graded that fight as a draw which results in a pushed wager. The player should have been refunded his full risk amount. If there was a 3-way line, then yes it would have been a loss. He stated that it was a typical 2-way moneyline, so he’s getting screwed.”

But if you go on line, off shore, there apparently is protection for the bettor. Kalikas recommended this for anyone who feels caught in a black hole somewhere out there in cyber betting.

“I would have him call customer service at and ask to speak with management. They should make things right. If he’s having difficulties he can threaten to file a complaint with they seem to do a
decent job at helping resolve player disputes.”

It doesn’t matter what service you choose, it can get dicey when there is something unsure and you don’t have the luxury of going back to the window, or talking to someone in person.

And if you are looking to bet MMA,  is a consistently reputable outlet. I know  Kalikas, he’s been a guest on Inside MMA. I believe if something like this happened with him, he would try to work it out with the customer. I guarantee he would know the outcome of the fight in seconds after it ended.  He’s even offered my friend to bring his next action that way and he’ll give him a “decent bonus.” Maybe less juice to pay, earlier lines, something to let the gambler know he’s appreciated.

It’s all about customer service in the gaming industry. Why else would most of us feel we had a great time in Vegas even when we lose? It’s the drinks and buffet and show coupons that make us feel a little special. It is unquestionably a business, no matter how friendly the croupier or the local hometown bookie, it’s about money and it’s win or lose. Except in my friend’s case it’s in the middle. It should never take that long to explain a wager or be unclear on the result.

So bettor beware on line, betting MMA is relatively new. Even most major Vegas casinos only take action on the UFC main card and rarely on any other organizations. Most betting MMA are just getting used to it.

Above all make sure you get the correct bet, because “chatting” on the computer with a “live operator” is a losing proposition.

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