What Does Void Mean in Sports Betting?

Ever placed a bet only to see it marked “void”? You’ve probably wondered if the wager was canceled because of something you or other bettors did. No, you’re not the problem!

A sportsbook can void a wager for several reasons, ranging from technical issues to errors in odds. It is crucial to understand what a void bet is and its impact on your betting strategy so that you can quickly and adequately manage the situation if you ever reencounter it.

On this page, we will explore the concept of void bets, starting from the basic question: what does void mean in sports betting?

You will also learn about different sportsbook policies regarding void bets and how to reduce the risks of getting your bets voided. Let’s get into it!

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Discover the meaning of void bets and their impact on your betting strategy.
  • Learn how to avoid void bets and what to do if your bets get voided.
  • Understand the reasons why sportsbooks void bets.
  • Learn how betting sites like DraftKings and FanDuel handle void bets.

Understanding Voided Bets

In sports betting, voided bets are wagers canceled or rendered invalid by a sportsbook. It simply means the markets have been removed, and all bets placed on that particular event or outcome are no longer valid. 

The reassuring thing about voided bets is that you don’t get to lose money. Well, that’s if you don’t consider the potential winnings you could have had if the bet had been successful. Instead, your stake on the voided bet is refunded to your account. It will be as if you never placed the bet in the first place.

There are several reasons why bets get voided:

  • The event you wagered on is canceled or postponed (PPD).
  • The bookmaker makes an obvious error with betting odds.
  • Technical glitches or system failures.
  • Unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the sportsbook.

Common Causes for Voided Bets

Fact: Statistics from the American Gaming Association reveal that about 7% of all annual bets are voided. Putting it into state perspective, North Carolina reported over $11 million in canceled or void wagers in its first three months of sports wagering in 2024. One can only wonder how many voided bets have accumulated in states with legal sports betting since 2018.

These statistics indicate that voided bets are commonplace in the sports betting industry. Let’s dig deeper into the common causes behind the voiding of bets.

Game Cancellations or Postponements

If an event gets canceled or postponed, the bookmaker will void all the bets on it and refund the original wager amounts to the bettors. There are several reasons why a game can get postponed or canceled:

Example: In 2020, the NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards was canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak. All the bets placed on the event were voided, and bookmakers returned the bettor’s stakes. 

Player Injuries

Imagine placing a prop bet on a player’s performance, and they get injured before the game starts. The bet is void because the player will not participate in the match.

This is more evident in sports like tennis or golf, which depend on individual appearances. Bets are canceled if a player pulls out before the event begins. It’s considered a walkover victory for the opponent, and since the match doesn’t take place, all bets are refunded.

Example: Remember when Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open 2021 to protect his body, even after progressing to the fourth round? All futures wagers placed on Federer to win the tournament were voided.

Technical Glitches

While sportsbooks have advanced and sophisticated digital platforms, they are not always immune to technical difficulties. Simple human mistakes, downtime, app glitches, and delays in odds updates can lead to inconsistencies that could result in voided bets. 

Example: A sportsbook system’s failure to update odds promptly could lead to bets being accepted at incorrect prices. Of course, bookmakers wouldn’t want to incur unnecessary losses by honoring such wagers, so they would prefer to cancel the bets — resulting in no winner and no loser.

How Top Betting Platforms Handle Voided Bets

Sportsbooks all over the world share similarities in the way they handle voided bets. However, there are some distinct differences between their approaches.

While most platforms refund stakes or offer alternative bets, some may provide additional compensation or sports betting bonuses.

Additionally, some bookies have specific rules for certain sports events, such as tennis or golf, and the bet types involved. Understanding the policies and terms of your chosen sportsbook regarding voided bets is essential.

Case: Let’s look at how the two biggest sportsbooks in the US, FanDuel and DraftKings, handle void bets.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel will refund all bets related to an event if they are canceled prior to starting. 

According to DraftKings:

If any game is abandoned due to injury, bad weather, crowd trouble etc. all bets that have already been settled up until the time of abandonment will stand.

However, their rules slightly differ for parlay bets:

  • On FanDuel, if any leg of a parlay is void, it is reduced by one selection. For instance, a five-team parlay will become a four-team parlay, with the payout odds adjusted accordingly.
  • DraftKings will, however, void an entire parlay bet if any of its legs get voided. The ticket will be canceled, and the bet amount will be refunded.

The Impact of Voided Bets on Bettors

The vehement complaints, discontent, and heated discussions regarding void bets on Reddit and other community forums only point to one thing: “Bettors do not like voided bets”, and they have a good reason not to.

Voided bets are usually unexpected and can impact your strategy and returns in ways you didn’t prepare for. First, it can lead to a loss of potential winnings if it was a single straight wager or a reduction in overall returns if the voided bet was part of a parlay. 

Imagine you placed a bet on a football game, and just as the match is about to start, the sportsbook voids your bet due to a technical issue. All that time and effort you spent researching and analyzing the teams, gone. Your potential winnings disappeared. Yes, it can really be disappointing.

Voided bets can also lead to bettors losing faith in their sports betting strategies or platforms. They second-guess their betting decisions and may even end up mistrusting their sportsbooks. To sum up, void bets can have far-reaching impacts on bettors, especially if the affected game is vital to their betting strategy.

In the next part of this article, we’ll explore what you can do to minimize the risk of voided bets.

What to Do When Your Bet Is Voided

If it hasn’t happened before, chances are that one day, your bet will be voided by a sportsbook for one of the reasons mentioned above. So, what do you do when this happens? 

  • Read the Void Bets Rules: First, stay calm and understand why the bet was canceled. Review the sportsbook’s terms and conditions to check their voided bet policy:
    • On FanDuel, they are listed under House Rules.
    • However, DraftKings refers to them as ‘Voiding Rules’ in its General Rules section.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the policy: It will help you understand if the bet was right to be voided or if there’s an error. You can also check sports news to get updated information about the event.
  • Contact Customer Support: If you are not convinced, proceed by contacting customer support for further explanation and potential refunds (if the bet amount hasn’t been refunded yet). They will provide support and help you resolve the issue.
  • File a Dispute: Finally, if you believe the voided bet was still unwarranted, you can file a formal dispute with the sportsbook or the relevant regulatory body in your state. For instance, if you live in Arizona, you can reach out to the Department of Gaming. Ensure you keep and submit any relevant information to substantiate your claim, including the bet slip screenshots, transaction records, chat transcripts, etc. 

How to Avoid Voided Bets

While voided bets are mainly caused by external factors, there are still several ways you can reduce their occurrences.

  • Read your bookmaker rules: This tip cannot be overemphasized. To avoid personally induced voided bets, ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your betting site, including their voided bet policy.
  • Confirm lineups before wagering player props: Ensure the player you want to wager on is on the team’s lineup before confirming the bet. You can verify this information through the team’s social media pages or authority sources.
  • Check the odds: Be cautious of unusually high odds; the site’s system may be acting up. Compare the event’s odds on other sportsbooks to check if they are in the same range before wagering.
  • Watch the weather forecast: Stay updated with the weather conditions of the city where the events you want to bet on are taking place.
  • Wager at reputable sites: Stick to well-established and regulated platforms when placing bets online. This can help you reduce the risk of voided bets due to fraudulent activities.

Future Trends in Betting: Voided Bets and Technology

Technology is revolutionizing several industries, and the sports betting sector is no exception. By making sports betting more efficient, secure, and transparent, these technological advancements make the possibility of void bets rarer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are key drivers of this change. With their popularity, we can expect to see more sportsbooks harness the power of vast data sets to generate precise odds and predictions. This will further increase accuracy and minimize or remove the risks of technical failures that can lead to voided bets.

There is also the evolving sports betting regulatory environment, with state game authorities prioritizing player protection and fair play, likely leading to better outcomes for bettors. 

Example: In 2023, DraftKings requested many regulators to permit it to void some bets due to a technological error. It was denied by Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

So, What Do You Think About Voided Bets?

Void bets are circumstances that can unexpectedly affect your wagering experience. However, the situation isn’t so grave because, in most cases, you will receive a refund and can place a new bet quickly. 

With the knowledge you have gained in this guide, you now know how to avoid canceled wagers and what to do if your bet gets voided.

However, remember that the specific terms and conditions surrounding a void bet can vary depending on the cause and sportsbook involved. Ensure you reach out to your bookmaker when in doubt. 

Did you know that postponement (PPD) is one of the leading causes of games being voided? Read why games get postponed here.