If you were looking to place a last-minute bet on the Super Bowl in Illinois on Sunday, it may have been a frustrating endeavor.
Illinois sports betting customers experienced outages at DraftKings, BetRivers and FanDuel on Sunday. The outages mostly occurred in the hour leading up to kickoff, though some persisted during the game.
PointsBet and William Hill, Illinois’ two other online sportsbooks, did not have any issues.
Kambi, the backend provider for DraftKings and BetRivers, appears to be why customers reported problems with those two apps.
DraftKings provided the following statement to Legal Sports Report, PlayIllinois‘ sister site:
“We’re aware customers were unable to access our mobile and online Sportsbook,” the company said in a statement provided to LSR. “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.”
DraftKings plans to move to its technology platform later this year.
Kambi says that a “significantly high” volume of bets placed on one market caused the outage.
“This specific problem was quickly identified and rectified ahead of kickoff, at which point Kambi processed the highest-ever bet volumes in its history,” the company said.
Barstool Sportsbook, which should soon be in Illinois and uses Kambi, was also down.
FanDuel, meanwhile, tweeted the following on Sunday:
We are aware customers in MI and IL are having trouble logging in and placing wagers on the Sportsbook platform. Our team is working on resolving this issue as quickly as possible and we will provide any updates here. We apologize for any inconvenience!
— FD Customer Support (@FanDuel_Support) February 7, 2021
FanDuel does not use Kamb; it operates on its own technology.
First Super Bowl with legal betting in Illinois
With legal sports betting in its infancy stage in the US, this isn’t terribly surprising.
Still, it’s not a great look for regulated operators. The Super Bowl is the most bet on individual sporting event of the year.
Despite these issues, sports betting geolocation hits rose 236% from last Super Bowl Sunday. So it’s easy to see how certain providers crashed given the unprecedented traffic surge.
The good news? Because we’re in the infancy stage, we shouldn’t have as many complications in the future as kinks are worked out.
Why more competition is good
Illinois still only has five online sportsbooks, and 60% of them were down at certain points on Super Bowl Sunday.
They also happened to be Illinois’ three most popular operators.
Two of IL’s five books use Kambi. If Barstool Illinois is the next operator to launch, as we expect, then half of the state’s sportsbooks will run on Kambi.
That’s less than ideal for line shoppers, but also for situations like Sunday.
Unibet and the BetMGM online sportsbook also plan to launch in the Land of Lincoln, so we should be up to eight online operators this year. For what it’s worth, BetMGM also had issues in Nevada on Sunday, though they didn’t appear to be as widespread as the others.
For those who were able to bet on Sunday’s game, the Buccaneers dominated the Chiefs by a score of 31-9.
Tampa Bay closed as a consensus 3-point underdog.