Sports News

FanDuel to pay out some AAF football bets despite league stoppage

FILE PHOTO: The logo for the Alliance of American Football League is shown at media event at SDCCU Stadium where the new league introduced a team and head coach to the eight-team league, set to begin play February 2019, in San Diego, California, U.S., May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Alliance of American Football league is suspending operations before it can crown its first champions, but that is not stopping FanDuel’s sportsbook from declaring a winner.

FanDuel Group, a unit of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair PLC, on Wednesday said the Orlando Apollos should have been the AAF champs and that it would pay out all straight futures wagers as winners.

“For the fans that bet on the AAF, the least they should expect is for a competition to conclude as it should,” FanDuel said in a statement. “We believe this is the very definition of a bad beat for sports fans everywhere.”

The payouts apply to bets in New Jersey since FanDuel did not take any bets on the AAF in West Virginia or Pennsylvania, where it also operates sportsbooks.

This week, AAF owner Tom Dundon suspended operations after only eight weeks of game play following a number of operational and financial setbacks, according to media reports.

As the new legal U.S. sports betting market grows state by state, some operators have chosen to refund or pay out wagers where they think betters have gotten an especially bad break.

Such moves can serve to win over betters to legal, regulated bookmakers instead of the many pervasive illegal offshore websites.

In February, PointsBet refunded New Jerseyans’ wagers after Duke University star player Zion Williamson’s sneaker split open.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by James Dalgleish