It seems like every year players submit different NCAA Tournament prop betting disputes.
These disputes are of the same shade as the annual Super Bowl Gatorade prop betting disputes (pun intended) and can lead to significant headaches for players and ultimately suck the air out of the ball as it relates to one's bankroll and peace of mind.
One such player has written in with a betting dispute involving Sportsbook.com (SBR rating D-).
It goes like this, he wagers $20 for a +270 payoff ($54) on the following prop bet: "Kentucky Wildcats - Will they Finish the 2014-15 NCAA Basketball Season".
Immediately, the ambiguity of the wordage is evident. Is season referring to regular season only? Does season include the NCAA tournament?
The player thought he was in the clear when the NCAAB regular season closed and the Wildcats went undefeated ... because Sportsbook.com graded his bet a winner. Case closed, or so he thought.
He then logged into his account to find that the grading of the wager was reversed on the grounds of incorrect wordage. In addition, the following text was added onto the description of his already accepted wager: "no losses in regular or post season".
The player understandably feels upset, as he thought he had a winning ticket and action all along, only to find that the sportsbook changed the wordage very late in the game.
So, who is in the right here?
It's not black and white. On one hand, these type of team performance prop bets historically include the conclusion of the NCAA tournament, then again we only know that because most online sportsbooks take care to offer clear and unambiguous wordage that prevents such disputes from arising. That wasn't the case here.
It is reasonable to infer - if one knows the industry standard for such bets - that the sportsbook intended to offer its current wordage, but if a sportsbook is grading a bet at the wrong time, it is a testament to even their own staff being just as confused as players are at the time of accepting a bet with their hard earned cash.
Many sportsbooks will offer good faith exceptions when something like this happens, for example voiding a losing bet or awarding a freeplay in light of the ambiguity, or even giving players a deadline to choose whether or not to let their wagers ride. SBR has followed up with Sportsbook.com on the player's behalf to determine a fair resolution.
It is important for players to ask questions before placing a bet if they aren't 100% sure how a prop market will be graded, or else situations like the one described above are bound to occur.
If you're an online sportsbook player reading this and you have a betting dispute with an online bookmaker, simply submit a sportsbook complaint form with SBR.