Any time you can follow the lead of a distant competitor and copy them, you have to do it, right?
PointsBet started a bizarre PR trend of wager refunds in January with their Good Karma Payouts program. Last weekend, after UCF lost to Duke by a pseudo-controversial last second tip-in, they arbitrarily decided that constituted a Good Karma payout again and refunded all Knights moneyline bets.
The head-scratching concept of Good Karma Payouts is to “provide bettors relief in the event of unlikely circumstances that sway the fate of the game.” The reality is it’s a PR ploy to grab headlines and sets a frustrating and completely arbitrary precedent over what does and doesn’t equate to “unlikely circumstances.”
Sports are fluky. Almost every game has multiple random events that alter the outcome. The key determining factor in these refund programs are 1.) is it limited financial impact on the sportsbook, and 2.) will the refund grab a headline.
Follow the leader?
DraftKings CEO and Duke grad Jason Robins saw PointsBet’s Good Karma Payout last weekend and said, “hold my beer.”
Because … uh, PR?… PointsBet did it first?… Robins decided to refund all Duke moneyline wagers after the Blue Devils lost by a point to Michigan State in the Elite 8.
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) March 31, 2019
The wagers, refunded only up to $50 (because if you’re going to do something out of the goodness of your heart, you might as well do it half-assed), will be issued in the form of a credit.
We get it. New Jersey sports betting is a competitive market. It’s a daily battle to attract or retain a customer.
But you can do better, DraftKings. You’re a trend-setting market leader. PointsBet should be bastardizing your ideas, not the other way around.