It is unfathomable how quickly the coronavirus affected our everyday lives. In the world of sports, everything seemed normal just one week ago. NBA and NHL arenas were filled, MLB spring training was well underway, and some college basketball teams already had their tickets punched to the NCAA Tournament.
The Ivy League came under a lot of scrutinies when it canceled its postseason conference tournament. However, this was merely a sign of things to come. Soon after that news, Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the coronavirus shocked the sports world. His test results ultimately set off the chain reaction of canceled sports that we now bear today.
How are sportsbooks handling the fallout of the coronavirus with respect to the betting industry? We take a look at some of the major sportsbooks and what they have said publicly.
NCAA Basketball and March Madness
Below is the following tweet from FanDuel Sportsbook’s customer support about all NCAA Tournament bets.
All NCAA bets placed on FanDuel Sportsbook involving cancelled games or tournaments including March Madness will be voided and refunded. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
— FD Customer Support (@FanDuel_Support) March 12, 2020
The takeaway is that any futures bets relating to conference tournaments or the NCAA Tournament would be voided and refunded. Since the NCAAB season is completely canceled, this was an easy decision and policy for the sportsbooks to enforce.
What About the Leagues That Are Not Canceled?
While the NCAA canceled all winter and spring sports championships, professional leagues like the MLB, NBA, and NHL are currently in postponement. How are sportsbooks handling futures bets with regard to these leagues? Below is a statement from DraftKings President Matt Kalish in an email to their customers.
DraftKings is committed to helping resolve any issues our community may face as a result of the current challenges. Here is what we want to make sure you know:
- This situation is fluid, so we are actively developing a status page where you can find the latest news on game and contest cancelations and schedule changes, with the goal of providing a one-stop destination for the answers to questions you may have. We will email our customer community as soon as this page is live and we will continue to update it with new information.
- We understand that where you have outstanding sportsbook wagers, there may be questions on how these markets will be settled. We are working diligently through all potentially impacted markets to provide clear answers. In addition to consulting the upcoming status page, you can continue to reach out to our customer experience team with any questions in the meantime.
- Given the unique situations that will occur as a result of game cancellations and changes (like the NBA cancellations last night), our commitment is to focus on providing decisions that are fair, consistent with our values, and continue to demonstrate our commitment to providing an industry-leading customer experience.
What are Sportsbooks Currently Offering?
Sportsbooks have remained unaffected in terms of futures bets offered for both college football and the NFL. In addition, even though the Masters was postponed, one can still wager on its winner even though a new date has not been set. Sportsbooks are still taking futures bets on the champion of the NBA and NHL. However, if those leagues were to cancel their season at any point, sportsbooks would likely void those bets just like they did for college basketball.
Playing on the likely boredom of sports fans, many sportsbooks are advertising their online casino platforms. Whatever you choose to do in the wake of limited sports betting, continue to make sure you are responsible.