It is one of the tragedies of modern life that people will fix events in their favour if there is an opportunity to do so. That is not to suggest that there weren’t some unscrupulous types hanging around in the Roman era, ensure that the die were loaded so that they could win their bets, but the move online for most bookmakers has seen things ratchet up a notch or two. Whether it be football matches or tennis games, the existence of In-Play markets is such that sports people can be induced to ensuring that certain bets will definitely be winners.
In the vast majority of cases, bets are settled as winners when they happen. It usually takes a bit of time for it to be discovered that an event was fixed and bookies tend to look to settle wagers quickly if they can. As a result, a bet that you’ve placed on something that later transpires to have been fixed will almost certainly be paid out as normal. The major exception to this is if your wager seems to be one of the suspicious ones that is being investigated, in which case the bookmaker that you’ve placed it with won’t pay out straight away.
Bets Are Settled On The Official Result
There are any number of reasons why the result of a sporting event might change well after its conclusion. The most obvious one is a horse race, which might end up being investigated by stewards because of something that happened during it. If the stewards don’t end up looking at the event until after the official result has been declared then you will be on the receiving end of a payout and there’s not much that you need to do. There is also the case of Manchester United getting a penalty after the final whistle in 2020.
The match referee, Chris Kavanagh, blew the final whistle in the match, only to be told by the Video Assistant Referee that Brighton & Hove Albion player Neal Maupay had handled the ball in the final moments of the game. The rules allowed him to go back and award the penalty, with most people who follow football not being in the least bit surprised that the Red Devils managed to get a penalty after the match had ended. Though some bookmakers may have paid out as soon as the whistle went, most will have waited to see what the official result was.
Bookmakers will almost always pay out on the official result of an event that you’ve bet on. Unless they’ve made an obvious error with that payout, you will be entitled to keep the winnings. This means that disqualifications, disciplinary hearings and the like won’t matter a jot to your wager, given that they are pretty much always settled after the official result has been confirmed. Of course, this can sometimes work against you. If you’d bet on a horse to win a race, it came second and the winning horse was later disqualified, you won’t be paid as a winner.
In terms of events that are fixed, that information virtually always comes out well after the official result has been declared. Just because some unscrupulous footballer has agreed to kick the ball out for a throw-in at a specific minute in a match, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be screwed over by the bookmakers when they find out about it a couple of weeks down the line. Equally, a match that had a fixed result won’t see the bookies choose to payout the people that bet on the other team or reclaim the money from those that bet on the dodgy result.
What If Your Betting Activity Is Suspicious?
The existence of the likes of In-Play markets means that people can bet on virtually anything nowadays. It is not exactly out of the realms of the possible that you think that the first booking in a football match is going to be issued in the 15th minute, for example. You have done your research and discovered that the referee of the particular game that you’re betting on tends to let the game flow where possible, whilst the players on both teams are well-disciplined when it comes to throwing in dangerous tackles, until they start to tire.
As a result, you’ve chosen the 15th minute and are delighted when a crunching tackle goes flying in and the referee reaches for their pocket. Unbeknownst to you, the player that committed the challenge had been paid a lot of money by a betting syndicate to get booked 15 minutes into the match. They committed the foul not because they were over-zealous but because they’d received a payout to do so, meaning that your wager is placed alongside a barrage of suspicious ones placed by the betting syndicate in question.
The first thing that is likely to happen is that the bookmaker will not pay you out on your wager. This is because the suspicious bets will have been flagged up, meaning that any and all bets placed on that outcome will be treated as suspicious initially. One body that does this is the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) who monitor betting patterns and alert bookies if there there is suspected fixing going on.
The good news is that the programmes that flag these things up are extremely sophisticated, so the chances are that you’ll be investigated and cleared as just being unlucky. If there is any question of wrongdoing, or if you were indeed part of the betting syndicate, then you’re unlikely to be so quickly dismissed by those investigating.
Is There Anything You Can Do?
It is entirely possible that you’ve placed a bet on an event that later turns out to have been fixed. Sometimes you might benefit from the fixing, in the sense that your bet was a winner courtesy of the unscrupulous people involved, whilst other times you will find that your bet was a loser because you bet on the party that wasn’t part of the fixing. The sad reality is that there is very little that you can do if this ends up being the case, not least of all because the idea of bookies paying out on the official result works both ways.
The only thing that you can do is to write to the company that you placed the bet with and ask them if it is possible to get your money back. After all, it’s not your fault that something dodgy went on when the original bet was placed. In truth, the chances of the company in question giving you your money back is slim to nought, but all you can do is ask. What you might want to do is ask if you can get it as a free bet, given that they’ll know that you’ll have to place this with them. It is still unlikely to happen, but you might as well try.