Aaron Rodgers Injury: Should Sportsbooks Refund Bets?

Aaron Rodgers Injury: Should Sportsbooks Refund Bets? article feature image

Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets.

Mere minutes into Aaron Rodgers’ debut as the new Jets quarterback, the 39-year-old signal caller went down with an injury that took him out for the game and the year.

Having not thrown a single completion, gamblers on Twitter started debating one of the most controversial topics in sports betting today: Should bettors who wager on a Rodgers prop be refunded?

The idea is relatively new. Before gambling swept the nation, Las Vegas books weren’t doing anything of the sort. For as long as Aaron Rodgers walked out onto the field and was in for a play, action had taken place. That Rodgers got hurt? Tough luck. It’s the risk you make with player props.

But on Monday night, much of the betting world seemed to expect refunds. DraftKings refunded single Rodgers props as well as those that had Rodgers props in parlays. BetMGM refunded his overs on passing yards, TD’s, interceptions, completions and attempts. DraftKings is also refunding all wagers on Rodgers future bets in the form of bonus bets. (They aren't refunding wagers on Jets win totals, or the Jets to win Super Bowl.)

Two books, FanDuel and PointsBet, cited house rules and said they wouldn’t be crediting customers.

And while some might argue that’s bad customer service, the majority of this reporter's followers believe FanDuel and PointsBet actually made the right call.

If a player gets hurt, do you believe sportsbooks should refund or credit bettors?

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 12, 2023

For an hour poll, the 18,000 votes suggests how much of a hot button issue it is. And despite the cries of those who bet at those two books that didn’t refund, over two-thirds of those who voted agreed with FanDuel and PointsBet.

Competition is tight in the sportsbook industry and every company is looking to do whatever it can to acquire a customer. It’s why nights like Monday are so interesting.

House rules clearly are in the book’s favor if they want to take bettors money. They're legally covered.

Although the Jets still prevailed, they were a different team without Rodgers. Those who took the over of 44.5 clearly based their decision on Rodgers playing the whole game versus Zach Wilson. Should they also get refunded?

The dirty secret in issuing refunds either as cash or as a credit is that they aren’t accounted for as marketing costs — even though, by function, they should be.

The Wall Street pressure on these publicly traded sportsbooks is that they're spending too much on marketing. In situations like these, they can market to new and existing customers without adding to their annual budgets, on paper. In some ways, it's one of the cheapest things a sportsbook can do to engender loyalty in the space.

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