This article focuses on the attitudes of different bookmakers and exchanges towards postponed or abandoned fixtures and the way bets will be affected if you are unfortunate enough to stake a game that either doesn’t start or doesn’t finish.
The Case: Match abandoned in the second half
When this article was originally written, our last bet of the day was ‘laying’ Mallorca in their La Liga trip to Granada. Before retiring to bed, we checked the score, 2-1 to Granada, with around 30 minutes to play.
Upon checking our Betfair account the following day we were concerned to find the bet had not been settled!? A quick search confirmed fears that the match had been abandoned.
Usually, it’s fog or a floodlight failure, or where the match officials are concerned, a pulled groin muscle, an errant or out of control flag, a clumsy fall, or a slide-tackle from an over-enthusiastic defender.
But no, bizarrely, this abandonment was caused by a flying umbrella, which struck a referee’s assistant in the face and drew blood from his cheek.
After the referee had called a stop to the game the manager of Granada explained in the press conference that it was an unfortunate ‘accident’ and that the poor youth in the Granada section of the crowd was still holding the handle as he was arrested by police.
Much sympathy for the scarred linesman, his apparently innocent assailant and other fans deprived of the result, but where did this leave our bet? We were now in the land of limbo and searching through Betfair’s Terms and Conditions.
Which rules apply?
Like all UEFA leagues, we knew La Liga was faced with 3 options for concluding the affair:
- replaying the whole match;
- arranging for the last 30 minutes or so to be played out (probably behind closed doors); or,
- as it was a Granada fan to ‘blame’, awarding of the match to Mallorca with the customary 3-0 score line.
But how are bets affected by these options and what is the range of different terms and conditions employed by the bookmakers and exchanges in such situations?
Ensure that abandonment and postponement rules are clear before betting
When betting you need to ensure that abandonment and postponement rules are clear especially before embarking on strategies such as cross-market trading, arbitrage or accumulators.
No two bookmakers’ Terms and Conditions are ever identical and for arbitrage or trading it is better to use markets with similar rules for postponement and abandonment or, to know the rules instinctively before making bet selections which could otherwise be detrimentally affected by things such as inclement weather.
The next page concentrates on the different attitudes taken by bookmakers and exchanges…