Someone In New Jersey Wants To Bet More Than $5 Million On The Houston Astros

Written By Dustin Gouker on September 16, 2019 - Last Updated on February 8, 2021

A very large bet — potentially of more than $5 million — appears to be coming in on the Houston Astros to win the World Series in New Jersey, according to records discovered by PlayNJ.

A big World Series bet in NJ?

According to a document at the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement website, a petition was filed related to the sports betting license operated by the Meadowlands Racetrack.

We know very little about what is going down, but we do know that someone requested that the cap of $5 million be waived for at least one bet. Here’s the title of the petition made to the DGE:

Division’s Approval For A Waiver On The $5 Million Cap On A Wager And Confirm Our Understanding Of The Treatment Of The Wager Itself And The Potential Payout On A State Gaming Tax basis

That clearly means someone wants to bet MORE than $5 million.

The only clue we have about the nature of the bet is that the Astros are mentioned in conjunction with the petition. It makes sense that the bet is likely on the Astros to win the World Series. It’s at least possible it would be a bet to win the American League pennant.

It’s not yet known if the waiver was granted.

So where would the bet be placed in NJ?

There are three options on who could be booking this, and two are NJ sportsbook apps:

All three operate via the license under which the waiver was filed. However, PlayNJ confirmed that the book requesting the action is none other than FanDuel online sportsbook.

PlayNJ has reached out to FanDuel and the DGE to try to confirm if the waiver has been granted.

If the bet is on the Astros to win the 2019 World Series, they are +220 at FanDuel.

Who is making the big World Series bet?

If the bet is this big, we have a decent idea of who it is.

In the past, a furniture retailer in Houston named Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has refunded customers on mattress sales if the Astros win the World Series. Betting on the Astros himself would be a hedge against any such promotion.

More on him and the $10 million in mattresses he gave away in 2017 here. He also apparently had some bets on the Astros at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

He is running the same promotion this year.

McIngvale has not yet placed any bets on the Astros in New Jersey, but he intends to bet a total of $4 million on two different gambling sites.

Why is a waiver needed for the huge NJ bet?

Regulations in the state say that wagers can’t be in excess of $5 million, as arbitrary of a number as that is:

Wagers can be made with cash, vouchers, promotional funds, credit cards, gaming chips, and other methods approved by the Division. Odds must be displayed and captured by surveillance. No wager in excess of $5 million can be accepted for any reason.

Will the bettor in question have to be satisfied with $5 million (or $4 million) in action? We’ll have to wait to find out.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about online poker and the online gambling industry since 2008.

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