What Happens to Bets on Postponed Matches?
What happens to a person’s bets when the event that they’ve placed some wagers on is cancelled? Are they just immediately treated as losing bets? Or are they refunded to the customer’s account? Alternatively, does something different happen, such as they’re allowed to ride until the event takes place? As always with these things, the answer is a little bit more complex than you might imagine.
Most bookmakers treat postponed football matches in the same way, but there isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule. Here I’ll explain what will happen to your bet if the match that you’ve placed it on doesn’t take place as it’s supposed to. Hopefully it will allow you to be a bit more confident regarding what you need to do, if anything, should something cause the game you’re betting on to be postponed. That’s not the same as with cancelled matches, but I’ve written about them, too…
Why Might a Match Be Postponed?
If you’re going to talk about what will happen to a match bet when the event is postponed, you need to at least consider why a match might be delayed in the first-place. There are, as you might expect, a myriad of reasons why a game of football might have to be played at a later time or date. For starters, the weather can dictate many things in the United Kingdom and, indeed, further afield. Snow and ice is the most common cause, though it’s not always for the reason you might think. Modern football pitches, especially those owned by the top-flight clubs are exceptionally maintained and can cope with virtually any weather. The same can’t be said for the area surrounding a stadium, with police occasionally requesting that clubs don’t allow a game to go ahead because they think it will be unsafe for supporters to make their way to the ground.
Weather isn’t the only thing that can cause a match to be postponed. Injury and illness can also have an effect on whether or not a game will go ahead as expected. That might be illness to a player, a manager or a supporter that is deemed serious enough to mean that the match shouldn’t go ahead. Similar crowd trouble could lead to the postponement of a game, with pitch invasions being on the main culprits on that front. The majority of matches are postponed because of security reasons. The local police force that is responsible for safe passage of the game will make a decision depending on the circumstances and football clubs will always follow their advice. For example, when Borussia Dortmund played Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2017, police chose to postpone the game when the German side’s bus was attacked by opposition supporters and explosives went off. The police deemed it to be unsafe, so the game didn’t go ahead as it was supposed to.
One of the most unintentionally amusing occasions that led to a postponed match in recent times occurred on the last day of the season in the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign, though things seemed very serious at the time. Manchester United were playing host to Bournemouth when a ‘bomb’ was found in the toilets at Old Trafford not long before kick-off, leading to supporters being asked to leave and the bomb disposal team being called in. A controlled explosion was carried out on the device, which was later discovered to be a replica bomb used by a private firm who had hired Old Trafford to host an event. The match was rearranged for two days later, though it didn’t make any major difference to the outcome of the league.
What Happens to Single Bets When a Match Is Postponed?
As I suggested in my introduction, different bookmakers have different rules when it comes to postponed football matches. A few years ago the majority of them would want to wait to see whether or not the game was re-arranged, introducing rules that said that unsettled bets would stand if the game was re-organised within three hours of the original kick-off time. Some bookies still stick by this, but in the majority of cases they found that the waiting to see was causing confusion with punters and so they’ve abandoned that way of thinking all together.
Instead, as soon as it is confirmed that a match has been postponed all bets placed on it are declared void. That means that the stake money you used to place the bet will be returned to your online account. Should the match then be re-arranged then you’ll be able to re-place them for the new fixture, though it’s entirely possible that the odds may have changed. Sadly there’s nothing you can do about that. Some bookmakers will apply the same rules to matches that have their details changed, such as the venue being altered or the opposition changing. In short, if anything happens to mean that the match that you’ve bet on won’t take place as it was supposed to when you bet on it then you’ll simply get your stake refunded to you.
What Happens to Multiple Bets When a Match Is Postponed?
The beauty of betting is that there are so many variations to the type of bet that you can place. A single bet on something like a Correct Score prediction is one thing, but what happens if you’ve placed a multiple-bet accumulator and one of the fixtures that you’ve bet on ends up being postponed for some reason or another? In short, it’s simple removed from the accumulator and the rest of the bet plays out as if it had never contained a wager on the postponed event. Say, for example, that you’ve placed a ten-leg acca and one of the matches that you’ve bet on has been postponed, well then the accumulator simply becomes a nine-leg bet and is played out as normal.
The same is true for an eight-leg accumulator of a twenty-leg one. The only difference is if you’ve placed a double bet and one of the legs that you’ve bet on is postponed. In that instance the bet becomes a single and will play out with the normal rules that apply to single wagers. Again, though, some bookies might say that the bet will stand if the match is re-arranged within a given amount of time of the fixture’s original kick-off time. Whether you tend to place single bets or multiple bets, it’s always important to check with your bookmaker of choice to see how they personally respond to matches that are postponed. The last thing you’ll want to happen is that you’ve assumed your bet will stand for the re-arranged fixture, only to find out that you had the stake refunded to you and didn’t re-place the bet.