From Payout Delays To Lack Of Customer Service, Addabbo Tells Caesars Sportsbook To ‘Get Your Act Together’

Written By Mike Mazzeo on January 19, 2022 - Last Updated on January 21, 2022
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Caesars Sportsbook needs to be better. That’s the consensus among New York bettors and even some lawmakers.

Players have had multiple issues with the operator since it launched in the Empire State on Jan. 8.

Among them: confusion over bonuses, significant delays in withdrawals and nonexistent customer service.

The app also crashed due to heavy volume in each of its first two Saturdays in New York — including for three hours on Day 1.

“This is such a competitive market. And you’re such a player. Get your act together,” Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY when asked about Caesars’ multitude of issues, which have caused massive frustration on social media.

“You’re in New York. You’re in the sports capital of the world, and you’re acting like you’re in some small town. C’mon. You’re Caesars.”

PlayNY reached out to Caesars for comment but had yet to hear back as of the release of this story. But the operator released a statement to ESPN, which is a partner and uses Caesars’ odds on its site, Friday.

“Our customers are of the utmost importance to us and we apologize for any inconvenience they’ve experienced since our launch in the Empire State,” a Caesars spokesperson told ESPN in a statement. “New Yorkers have tremendous passion for sports and the state operates on an unprecedented scale all its own. That scale has exposed issues in our platform and we’ve made numerous updates every day since launch to improve the customer experience. Additionally, we are continuing to increase our customer service capacity to ensure we can respond more quickly. We’re committed to the state of New York for the long haul and want to assure every customer that we appreciate their feedback and are working to rectify these issues as quickly as we can.”

Caesars NY bettors take to Twitter to voice concerns

Addabbo knew all about Caesars’ issues. After all, his Twitter handle is attached to some of them.

“At this point, because of social media, I think the whole world knows about the problems that people are having with Caesars,” Addabbo said. “I think the whole world knows. It’s that obvious now.”

With nine different online sportsbooks in New York once the remaining four go live, players will have plenty of options if they dislike a certain app.

“The fact of the matter is we’ve seen the New York market is so robust that our New Yorkers have the pleasure of moving on from Caesars if they wish to BetMGM and other operators,” Addabbo said. “So Caesars, if they saw the big picture, they’d say, ‘Oh, we don’t want to miss out on this golden opportunity in New York, for this market that’s proven to be so substantial,’ that, ‘Hey, they can’t get their act together.’

“So for the New Yorker, they can complain about Caesars all they want. And then after they get what they are owed and deserved from Caesars, they have every right to say ‘I don’t like working with Caesars anymore’ and go somewhere else.”

Pressure on for Caesars Sportsbook to make amends

Addabbo had anticipated hiccups, including potential technological interruptions due to heavy volume early on. But some of the issues with Caesars New York (i.e. with payouts) and its radio silence about them is unacceptable in a regulated market.

“Caesars would be really foolish if they were to think, ‘Hey, there’s no problem here and we’ll just continue as is,’” Addabbo said.

“The commercials are out there. They’re obviously doing a lot of advertising. They certainly have great programs because many of my constituents I’ve talked to have gone onto their app. And they obviously crashed because of the volume, so they obviously have good incentives. But they gotta step back and look at the big picture here and say, hey, we gotta correct this stuff.”

The pressure is on. And there should be urgency to make corrections and satisfy many unhappy players.

“Their customer service is non-existent at this point,” Addabbo said. “But like I said. you don’t see DraftKings, FanDuel, anybody else going through these problems. And I’m thankful that it’s really one problem at this point — singular — and soon the other four will come online. Like I said, if I was Caesars, I’d definitely look to correct the ship.”

Photo by Caesars / YouTube
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN NewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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