What Happens To My Bet If An Event Is Postponed Or Cancelled?

Snow Covered Stadium SeatsYou’ve studied the form, spent hours poring over the stats site and come up with a cracking bet that you’re convinced is a winner and at good odds too. Then the match is cancelled! That in itself is very frustrating but the uncertainty about what happens to your bet is also extremely annoying. Here we explain what happens if the event you bet on is cancelled or postponed.

You can find a little more information on this matter in our FAQ about void bets, where we look at the various reasons why a bet could be voided, including postponement and cancellation, as well as how this affects accas and multiples. As we say in that piece, there are a whole host of reasons why a match could be postponed or cancelled and by far the most common is the weather, with rain, snow and frozen pitches and tracks all causing disruption, especially during the winter months and for events taking place at smaller or less sophisticated venues.

The issue of what happens to a bet in the unlikely event of a postponement/cancellation is both simple and complex. Simple, because there are only two possible options but complex because how these are applied varies from one betting site to another, according to different sports and also involves a variety of different criteria.

Postponed Event – Bet Stands

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In many instances a wager on an event that is postponed will still stand, assuming the fixture, event or tournament is played at some future date. Usually, if the details of the new date are decided quickly and the re-scheduled event takes place quite soon (this may be within 48 hours, 72 hours or even a week) the original bet and odds will stand and simply roll forward onto the new date and time.

As said, the exact details of the relevant timings vary according to the sport, the event and the bookie so check the rules at the bookmaker you used, listed under postponement and/or the relevant sport. Alternatively you could contact the bookie in question and ask them whether your bet will stand, or if it will be voided.

Postponed or Cancelled Event – Bet Void

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Whilst it is not uncommon for a bet to stand, the more likely scenario is that it will become a void bet. As said, you can get more info on this on our FAQ entry for void bets but in essence, the chances are that if an event is cancelled entirely or postponed to a date some way in the future, or even postponed to a date yet to be confirmed, the bet will become void. This means your stake is simply returned and the wager is null and void: you don’t win and you don’t lose.

What if There is a Change of Venue?

Relocation Road SignWhen games are postponed, this means that they are planned to be replayed. This obviously differs to cancelled event that has no plans of being replayed.

Bets for postponed matches will carry across to the revised time or date. But games do need to be played within a certain period before they then become void.

As mentioned above, the general rule for most bookmakers is that bets will stand for 72 hours and if the game has not been replayed or resumed and completed within that period, all bets will be classed as void unless they have already been settled.

However, a common problem for the postponed event is that of the venue it’s at. This could be waterlogged pitch or even grounds that are not up to standard. If the game is replayed but in a different stadium then bets will be void, regardless of if it’s within the 72-hour cut off period.

What Happens to an Acca if a Game is Postponed?

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It’s a lot more common that you would think to see a game be postponed. Weather is a frequent issue and whilst we’ve spoken about general rules already in this article, we want to touch on what happens to accumulator bets when a game has been postponed.

In short, should a selection in your acca be postponed, the game will simply be removed from the acca and the remaining selections in that bet will still run. The odds will be adjusted to reflect that selection being removed and your payout will also adjust accordingly as well.

Let’s run through a quick example of how that would work.

Assume that you’ve placed a 5-fold acca that includes the following picks:

  • Arsenal to win @ 2.00
  • Chelsea to win @ 2.00
  • Newcastle to win @ 3.00
  • Man United to win @ 1.50
  • Tottenham to win @ 1.75

The odds for the bet would multiply together to get odds of 31.5. So, a £10 bet would return £315.

Let’s assume that the Newcastle match is postponed, but the rest of the games all play. We would remove the Newcastle price of 3.00 from the acca to get new odds of 10.5 and the bet goes from a 5-fold to a 4-fold.

If multiple games are postponed, then the same process occurs. The price for that bet is removed and the new price is formed from the remaining fixtures.

What Major Sporting Events Have Been Cancelled?

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Over recent years we’ve several examples where sports or events have been both cancelled or postponed.

During 2020, we saw a whole raft of sporting cancellations, where bets have simply become void rather than moved. This is because postponements on events like the Olympics and Euro 2020 have seen dates shift up to and over 12 months at a time. All bets placed on these events were voided.

The Grand National was one of the first of the major events to be cancelled that year and all bets on this race were in fact voided. The only other time that the Grand National was voided since World War II was back in 1993.

The 1993 race will live long in the memory of many, when 30 of the 39 jumped the start, but still went on to complete the full track. The Jockey Club decided that the only option was to void the race due to the fact so many horses would be too fatigued to run again.

In turn, this required bookies to pay back over £75million in bets placed. The race led to a huge inquiry about the starting of the race, which in turn changed massively to ensure that this never happens again.