Recent Houston Rockets/San Antonio Spurs Game Has Raised Questions

Published on December 7th, 2019 4:34 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

How do referee errors impact betting and the potential or receiving refunds is discussed. In a recent game between the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, prolific scorer James Harden attempted a dunk on a fast break.

Harden's dunk clearly went through the hoop, though it ended up bouncing off of his body and going back up through the cylinder.

The refs incorrectly said that Harden missed the dunk, though the rules clearly state that Harden should have been credited with two points.

At the time, the ruling seemed inconsequential, as the Rockets were up by double digits.

The Spurs would come roaring back, however, eventually winning the game in overtime.

Some sportsbooks took the opportunity to gain some positive PR by offering refunds to everybody who had bet on the Houston Rockets to win. Fanduel, for example, refunded all online pre-game money line bets.

Other sportsbooks, on the other hand, said that they would not be offering refunds, as the San Antonio Spurs had officially won the game.


This brings up the obvious question - should sportsbooks be refunding wagers if there was a bad call made by a referee over the course of the game?

The answer: of course not.

Sure, sportsbooks can choose to offer refunds to whoever they want, though they are certainly under no obligation to do so. And just because one sportsbook offers a refund, other sportsbooks are under absolutely no obligation to do so.

Any sportsbook that offers a refund is doing so just to generate some positive PR and word-of-mouth - they certainly aren't looking to set a precedent, as things would get extremely messy for them in short order.

For instance, there is a disputed call in practically every sporting event across the world on any given day. Imagine if sportsbooks were to give refunds every time that there was a blown call? They'd be out of business in short order.

Most sportsbooks will take the line of grading bets based on the official results. If they want to offer refunds, they are certainly free to do so, though you certainly can't expect it.

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