Paying it forward.
On Tuesday, the Alliance of American Football announced that it would suspend its operations, and multiple sportsbooks confirmed to ESPN that they would refund wagers on all title bets.
On Wednesday, the FanDuel Sportsbook took it one step further.
In the process of paying out all its AAF futures bets, FanDuel declared the Orlando Apollos to be the league’s “winner.” That jives with what head coach Steve Spurrier told local station WFTV:
“We’ve got to be the champs, right?” Spurrier told the station. “We’re 7-1 and the other teams are 5-3. … We started the season wanting to win the Alliance championship, and if they declare a champ, hopefully these guys will be declared the champs, because they certainly are deserving.”
Spurrier says he feels for the players who put the work in and that it’s sad the league ended this way.
— Luke Hetrick (@LHSportsTV) April 2, 2019
FanDuel made every AAF bettor happy by declaring the 7-1 Orlando Apollos champions and paying out futures bets on them. However, the company decided to also grade all futures bets on the other seven AAF teams as winners, including the Memphis Express and Atlanta Legends — two teams that had been eliminated from playoff contention.
“Because the FanDuel Sportsbook loves football and we believe this is the very definition of a bad beat for sports fans everywhere, we are also going to pay out straight future wagers for all AAF teams as winners,” FanDuel declared in a statement.
“While we’ve declared the Apollos honorary champions, we think the biggest winners should be our customers and hope they enjoy their payouts,” FanDuel Group chief marketing officer Mike Raffensperger said in a statement.
Jeff Sherman of the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas told The Action Network on Tuesday that the book will not pay out a champion because its futures bet was to win the championship game, which will not happen.
FanDuel told ESPN that paying out all bets as winners will cost the company “just under $10,000.”
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