One of the recent popular trends for bookmakers is refunding bettors for a “bad beat.”
Although the refund certainly helps when a bettor falls victim to a poor call or bad luck buzzer beater, the sportsbook may not be doing it for the most noble of reasons. After the refund comes, the sportsbook usually releases the story to the national press. The publicity generated by the story is valued far more than the overall refund.
Here’s a list of five recent instances where a sportsbook stepped up and refunded wagers after bettors experienced a slice of misfortune.
DraftKings Refunds Penn State’s Overtime Defeat
Refunds, largely seen by gaming experts as a marketing ploy, was recently put in play once again by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Indiana defeated Penn State with a two-point conversion to win 36-35 in overtime. Replays of the game-winning play showed the Hoosiers’ quarterback was actually out of bounds before crossing the goal line.
DraftKings provided a refund to all bettors who made a moneyline bet on Penn State before the game began. Bettors who wagered money on the six-point spread, however did not find a reimbursement for the controversial call.
PointsBet Offers Refunds to Yankees Bettors
PointsBet refunded wagers on the news that the Houston Astros used a centerfield camera to win their 2017 World Series. When MLB’s investigation released their report in the 2019 offseason, bettors were understandably upset at the money lost betting against the Astros.
For future bettors of the 2019 New York Yankees, PointsBet refunded all ALCS and World Series wagers for the team. With the team losing to the Astros in the seven-game 2019 ALCS, the gaming company tweeted out news of the refund under the title, “Karma Kommittee Alert!”
PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken said, “Given the latest developments in this wild story, we think it’s only right to do our part and give back to all the Yankees bettors who now feel cheated in retrospect. We’ve always been aggressive with our Good Karma Payouts, but this one is simple. The fallout of this scandal may linger a bit for the MLB, but we won’t let it linger for PointsBet clients.”
PointsBet Refunds Saints Bets After Bad Call
Late in the 2019 NFC Championship, the New Orleans Saints were marching down the field with a three-point lead. A pass from Saints quarterback Drew Brees was broken up by Los Angeles Rams’ cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. But Robey-Coleman blasted the Saints receiver before the ball got to him.
The referees failed to call an obvious pass interference, costing the Saints the chance to put the game away and head to the Super Bowl.
The NFL later admitted that the refs missed the call and sportsbooks responded by refunding bets on the Saints. PointsBet, new to New Jersey betting market, refunded all moneyline and spread bets on New Orleans.
PointsBet Refunds Trubisky MVP Futures Bets
Before the 2019 NFL season, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was a popular MVP Futures pick for bettors. At 100-1, PointsBet believed that Trubisky offered little chance of winning the NFL’s top award.
After Trubisky started the season with five touchdowns over his first seven games, the gaming company offered a Halloween surprise. For future bettors who believed in Trubisky, the site refunded all MVP bets as a “treat” for the holiday.
The marketing stunt gained traction in the Chicago market as Bears fans became impatient with the quarterback’s lack of production.
When Zion’s Shoe Fell Apart, PointsBet Refunded Wagers
When superstar Zion Williamson played at Duke, he famously tore apart his Nike shoe making a move on the court. The shoe caused an injury, forcing Zion to miss the game. Duke playing their chief rival, North Carolina, went on to lose the game, costing bettors close to $100,000.
The fallout from Zion’s blown out shoe cost several companies money. Nike’s stock fell around two percent and PointsBet provided a credit to all bettors who wagered on Duke.
While PointsBet routinely refunded money back to the accounts, they chose to give credit to bettors for this mishap.