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The sports betting world revolves around wins and losses. What happens when the stars don’t align for an event to occur, leading to rescheduling/postponements, possibly even cancelations? This article explains how major sportsbooks and league rulebooks keep the sports betting world spinning amidst chaos while trying to prevent bettors’ heads from spinning as fast.
This article is not intended as legal advice in the event of a betting dispute and does not refer to incomplete parlays. Parlay action becomes extremely tricky in cancelation/rescheduling situations where careful monitoring of your preferred sportsbook’s policies and individualized rulings are advised.
Reputable sportsbooks operate with honor. Shady sportsbooks risk losing valuable customers in a highly competitive industry that is becoming more saturated as new players enter the gambling game upon more widespread legalization. Reimbursements occur, as long as the event qualifies under a particular sportsbook’s “no action” guidelines, albeit parlays get complicated as noted. Rescheduled games count as if the event never experienced change, so long as the rescheduling falls into a sportsbook’s admissible event rules.
Cancelation, rescheduling, and postponement policies for five of the world’s biggest sportsbooks regarding professional football, basketball, and baseball are noted below.
Short summary: 55 minutes of the game must be completed for best to count. If a game is postponed, it must be played by the following Wednesday on DraftKings and Fanduel, or within seven days on BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet to count.
“Games must start in the same scheduling week of the league (scheduling week is Thursday-Wednesday, local stadium time, for NFL) for bets to have action. There must be five minutes or less of scheduled game time left for bets to have action unless the specific market outcome is already unconditionally determined. “If a game is halted before the minimum time has been played, and not completed within 48 hours of the scheduled start date, bets will be canceled, unless the specific market outcome is already determined (unless otherwise stated, i.e., playoff game rule).”
“Abandoned or postponed games are void unless played within the same scheduling week. In the event of a change of venue, all bets will be void.” [OddsJam note: Many sportsbooks completely void bets on games where a venue change occurs. DraftKings serves as a notable exception, accepting the bet if the league still designates the home team as home]. “At least ten minutes of official time must elapse in the fourth quarter for bets to have action [OddsJam note: This is the equivalent of 55 minutes].”
“Football games and any games/events not specifically listed must be held within one week of the originally scheduled date and location to be considered action. Pro and college football results are official after 55 minutes of play.”
“All events must be held within seven days of the scheduled date to be considered ‘action.’ For example, if a game is postponed on a Saturday, it must be completed by the following Friday. Games are official after 55 minutes of play.”
“All markets on a postponed match will be treated as void if the event has been moved to more than 48 hours in the future. Wagers will stand if postponed for less than 48 hours. Affected MultiBets will be recalculated excluding that event or leg.”
“Any event which does not start within 12 hours from the start time as last issued by the governing association will be declared void. This includes, but is not limited to, cases where games are postponed due to bad weather, crowd trouble, or other similar scenarios.”
“If a match does not start on the scheduled start date and is not completed within 24 hours of the scheduled start time, all bets will be void except for those on markets which have been unconditionally determined. The void rule applies for all markets where a draw/tie price is not offered [OddsJam note: Betting on a tie or draw outcome in a match, game, or fight is sometimes an offered option].”
“Where a game is postponed or incomplete, and subsequently resumed or played within 24 hours (inclusive) of the originally scheduled start time, all bets will stand. All bets placed on games played which commence more than 24 hours past the originally scheduled start time will be void. Once the 24 hours have expired, all bets are void and stakes will be refunded.”
“All basketball games must be fully completed for full-game wagers to be considered “action”. Any games canceled or postponed will be void, the only exception is the money line live, where at least 43 minutes for NBA, or 35 minutes for college, WNBA, and international, of play have taken place and an official result is declared, unless otherwise specified.”
“Subject to any specific sports rule to the contrary, where an event which is scheduled to be completed within one day is not completed within 24 hours of the day on which it was scheduled to be completed, all Bets on that event, shall be void.”
Unlike other major sports, Major League Baseball considers partially played games official as long as they’ve played enough of the game. The official MLB rulebook stipulates that an incomplete game officially ends if the visiting team has made 15 outs and the home team is leading, or once the home team has made 15 outs regardless of the score. In other words, full-game money lines become official once the game goes five innings, or if the home team leads after 4.5 innings.
Runline and Total wagers are official after nine innings of play, or 8.5 innings if the home team is leading. If a game is canceled before nine innings have been completed, all wagers on the run line and the total will be considered no action. As such, wagered funds get returned to the account holder. A bet is declared void on a canceled or postponed game that has not started, or if a result has not been reached within 12 hours of the scheduled start.
Fantasy sports emerged as a really lucrative moneymaker within the last decade. The overall fantasy sports market eclipsed a $7 billion value in 2019. DraftKings and FanDuel are dominating this sports betting space. Cancellations, rescheduling, and postponement muddy the smooth flow of setting lineups. For clarity’s sake, here are the sportsbooks’ official policies.
“DraftKings uses official MLB statistics and only includes statistics from games MLB deems to be official. If the MLB declares a game “suspended,” then the statistics generated before the game is suspended will count in Game Sets containing said game. Any statistics generated on a later date when the game resumes will not be included.”
DraftKings follows very similar guidelines for the NFL and NBA, in accordance with the aforementioned cancelation/postponement policies.
“Rules for how postponed games are handled in FanDuel contests vary depending on the sport and contest type. For football contests, you will receive points for any postponed games that are played no later than the next Wednesday.”
“For one-day baseball, basketball, hockey, or soccer contests, if the postponed game is played on the same day then you will receive points for your players in those games as normal. If a game is postponed to a later date or canceled for any reason, any players you have selected for that game will receive zero points.”
“For any basketball, baseball, or hockey contests that are scheduled to include games from multiple days (such as some playoff contests), you will receive points for any games that are played no later than the day after the last game scheduled as part of the contest.”
“For Slates involving multiple games, if game cancellations and/or postponements mean there is only one game left in a contest, then the contest will be canceled and all entry fees will be refunded. A game will be considered to be ‘played’ on a given day if it begins on that day and is completed no later than 6 am Eastern Time on the following day. “