Why Bettors Are Mad, Sportsbooks May Need To Change NFL House Rules

Written By Stephen Andress on January 10, 2023
nfl sportsbook rules

TheLines senior writer Mo Nuwwarah reported on the many, complicated NFL sportsbook house rules revolving around Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bills futures, win totals and season-long props last week. Confusion and frustration still abounds on some sportsbooks not paying out some bets that would have won, regardless of whether the Bills at Bengals Week 17 game was canceled. Some sportsbook house rules require all 17 games to be played in order for bets to stand.

Bettors Frustrated With Several Sportsbooks

Some of the notable sportsbooks with house rules that required all 17 games to be played on win total bets are BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Circa and Superbook. But at some places like DraftKings Sportsbook, season-long props like Most Touchdown Passes still paid out Patrick Mahomes tickets and graded Josh Allen and Joe Burrow tickets as losers.

Adding to the confusion, bettors might have different rules depending on what state you are in. Bengals division futures were paid out in Nevada at MGM properties, but on the BetMGM app, the rules state: “team(s) must play in all of their scheduled regular season games for bets to have action.”

Reaction has been strong on Twitter. Here’s just a sample of some of what TheLines’ Zach Tilley found:

Will Sportsbook Change House Rules?

The sports betting industry seems like it could benefit from revisions to its NFL sportsbook rules for more clarity across all types of NFL season-long betting markets. Even if sportsbooks’ house rules are going to vary and have no legal requirement to have uniformity across companies, shouldn’t they at least have the same games-played rules across all NFL season-long markets?

Obviously, what happened with Damar Hamlin and the cancellation of the game was totally unforeseen and unlikely to happen again, but it did expose an area that has led to a terrible customer experience for many sports bettors.

Stephen Andress Avatar
Written by
Stephen Andress

Stephen Andress joined Catena Media as Managing Editor of TheLines.com in March 2021. He began his career as a sports anchor and reporter in Eugene, OR before moving to Louisville, KY. There he covered the Kentucky Derby, Sugar Bowl and three consecutive Final Fours. Stephen later won an Emmy award while working for the Indianapolis Colts. More recently, he produced content for the PGA TOUR and multiple fantasy football and sports betting websites. Nothing has excited him more in his career than seeing legalized sports betting in the United States and the opportunity to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for it. His hobbies include kicking his high school friends' butts in fantasy football, Japanese whisky and Kentucky bourbon, golf outrights and supporting RIP Medical Debt, a charity which works to wipe out medical bills for those who have been unable to cover the cost of getting sick.

View all posts by Stephen Andress