When is it OK for Online Sportsbooks to Void Bets?

One of the most common wagering complaints Sportsbook Review receives from players involve their bets being voided.

Often, online sportsbooks will cite line errors as reason for calling off the bets. The question these players have is are these sportsbooks justified to cancel wagers that are accepted?

You Book the Bet, You Pay the Bet
As players know from previous SBR reports, one of the oldest and most sacred rules in the sportsbook industry is "you book the bet, you pay the bet".

There are exceptions. Say the spread for an NFL game is really 10 points, and a sportsbook lists the spread at 4. Let's further assume the spread opened at 10 points, and never got in the same vicinity as 4 points, should a wager have action on the 10? No, this is protected by what most sportsbooks have in their terms and conditions as egregious errors caused due to glitch or human malfunction.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Let's say the spread opened at 7 points and that's what all online sportsbooks had early in the week, but a star player was injured and the line shot up to 10 points, but a sportsbook line manager fell asleep at the wheel and never moved off the 4, should the bet be voided then? Absolutely not. This is referred to as "falling asleep at the wheel". However, in this extreme scenario, a player should expect that his account might be closed if he insists on being paid should the book void the bet.

It is a slippery slope. Players need to realize that online sportsbooks are usually not interested in servicing sports bettors whose only concern is beating wrong odds or taking advantages of mistakes. Players who are not interested in wagering unless they have an unfair edge should probably mix up their wagers to avoid being identified quickly by a sportsbook who have active risk management.

Also, if certain errors are not caught before the bets have action, let's say a wager entered two minutes after the game posted and the score remains 0-0 but that this bet could have lost, sportsbooks are expected to honor the wagering ticket.

Seek Help with a Sportsbook
If you are a player reading at home who has a present wagering dispute involving a voided ticket, please file a sportsbook complaint form with SBR.




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