In the wake of the NBA suspending it season on Wednesday night, DraftKings Sportsbook announced that it will void all bets placed on the games impacted by the coronavirus.
News of this decision on wagers came through the sportsbook's official customer support feed on Twitter. It's the right move, and other major sportsbooks should follow suit in short order.
With this policy in place, the same will apply to users who wagered on any of the college basketball conference tournaments, which underwent widespread cancellations on Thursday. The NHL followed the NBA's lead in suspending its season, too.
A voided bet simply means the bettor receives their money back without the potential penalty of losing it on a game that didn't happen. Since the bet technically didn't hit, sportsbooks could keep that money in theory, but that wouldn't be the most noble of business practices.
Thankfully, DraftKings is setting a great trend that should be emulated throughout the sports betting industry. The leading sportsbook was on top of the stunning developments that occurred Wednesday, which put a halt to the 2019-20 NBA season.
After Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, his team's road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed.
Not long after that, the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings pushed their meeting off indefinitely. That led to the entire NBA suspending games until further notice.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell also has the coronavirus and that Gobert was careless around the locker room in recent days. The good news is none of the other 58 members of the Jazz organization who were tested were found to have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Sports betting is taking off around the United States. With federal legalization in place, it's fallen on the state governments to permit sports gambling within their jurisdictions. Sportsbooks like DraftKings will do the right thing and void bets on halted contests, but this pandemic is going to definitely hinder business for the foreseeable future.
All of this feels trivial given the public safety hazard the coronavirus presents. Nevertheless, DraftKings' policy is pure in its spirit and integrity. The priority now is to keep everyone safe in an effort to keep COVID-19 at bay — and hopefully resume life and sports betting as normal sooner rather than later.
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