I’ve been asked what to do if you have funds in a Nevada sports betting account and want to withdraw when the casinos are closed as they are now. I have five accounts and here’s what I see.
All my books have a mechanism to withdraw. The most common is what’s called Play+. This is used by four of my accounts: Coast, Station, Westgate, and William Hill (although WH calls it the William Hill Priority Access Card). It’s basically a debit card that can be used to fund and withdraw. You open and fund the Play+ account, then transfer funds to the sports book account. Play+ can be funded through Paypal, eCheck, and possibly other such mechanisms tied to your bank account. For depositing with a credit card, it solves the problem of certain cards that don’t allow gambling transactions. Fund the Play+ account from a credit card, then transfer to your sports account. You don’t need to worry about your credit rating to open a Play+ account, since no money is loaned.
When you sign up for Play+, you’ll get the physical card in the mail in 10-14 days. You don’t need the card to deposit from the Play+ account into your sports account, but do need it to access withdrawn funds. When withdrawing, funds are transferred to the Play+ account through the sports book app. You need to be able to log in to the app, so you have to be in Nevada to do it. The funded card can be used anywhere Discover is accepted, or at any ATM that accepts PULSE or NYCE cards. I assume you can bring it to your bank to get cash, but I’m not sure. There are fees associated with using the card at ATM’s. Some books charge fees as well. They differ, so check with your book. Here’s the Station FAQ on its Play+ account.
CG Technology doesn’t use Play+ at present. To withdraw there, email [email protected] or call 702-677-3805 for more info or to get a check or wire transfer.
I don’t know about other sports book accounts in Nevada or other legal states, but I’m sure there’s a way to withdraw from any of them when the books are closed. Check their apps or search for info on the web. If you’re out of state and can’t log in to the app, you may be able to have a check or wire sent. Calling the customer service department should provide answers.
I’m in no way downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis, but life goes on, and for many people a big part of life is sports, and sports betting!
The difference between this crisis and others, such as 9/11, is that this time people don’t get to look to sports as a distraction and a salve. This is usually a great time of year for sports. NCAA basketball conference tournaments, followed by March Madness. NBA playoff runs and playoffs. Baseball season ramping up. PGA golf, with the Players Championship and other great events leading up the Masters. The NASCAR season heating up and on and on. And then they were gone, for how long nobody knows.
The first I heard to be suspended was Sunday night, when the Indian Wells tennis tournament made its announcement. Then, starting Wednesday night, the NBA, followed by NCAA conference tournaments going down one-by-one until they were all gone, then the NHL, and MLB followed. Well, at least I had the Players Championship, which played the first round Thursday, while announcing the remainder would be played, but with no gallery. I went to bed Thursday night planning to get up at 5 a.m. and enjoy what would likely be the last big sporting event for a while, but that was canceled too. Ok, I’ve still got NASCAR and UFC. NASCAR nope, went down Friday. The UFC in Brazil went on; it might turn out to be the most heavily bet UFC event of all time!
Aside from the specter of a world without sports, there are a lot of questions about open sports betting tickets. This is a black swan event in the world of sports betting and there are no established rules covering this situation. Here’s what I see at this time.
? NBA — The NBA has announced that it will reevaluate the situation in a month or so. Therefore, bets like season win totals and various future bets remain open at most books until a concrete decision is made about the remainder of the season. Most books’ rules specify that season-win totals require the full schedule of a team’s games to be played to have action; if play resumes at some point, but the full regular season slate of games isn’t completed, bets on win totals will probably be refunded.
As for futures, I’m assuming that if some regular-season games are played to determine the playoff order, or even if they’re not and if they simply use the standings when play was suspended to determine the playoffs, bets such as division, conference, and title winner will have action. I have bets on the MVP and Rookie of the Year and I’m assuming they will have action if they are actually voted on and awarded.
What if this season doesn’t resume? I have to assume that all open tickets will be refunded.
? NHL — What I said about the NBA pretty much goes for the NHL as well. They are taking a wait-and-see approach. Both leagues haven’t ruled out extending their seasons into the summer, either to resume to regular season or just hold their playoffs.
? NCAA basketball — All my future bets on conference tournaments and March Madness have been canceled. I assume it’s the same for everyone. There was one I had a doubt about. I had Colorado to win the Pac-12 and they lost their first game and were eliminated before the tournament was canceled. William Hill refunded it.
An interesting situation occurred Thursday, when the Creighton/St. Johns game was suspended at halftime. Most books graded first-half bets, while obviously, full-game bets were no action. However, I saw on Twitter that some books declared no action on first-half bets. The rules at most books state that completed bets have action, but if you’re betting with an unregulated offshore book you have little recourse if they rule the other way.
? Golf — A very interesting situation came up at the Players Championship. Hidecki Matsuyama was leading the first round at 9-under. Three players couldn’t complete their rounds because of darkness, which had big implications. Those players not finishing meant that bets dependent on the first round being completed were no action. Bets such as first-round matchups or score bets on players who’d completed their rounds were graded, but bets such as the first-round leader, which would have been Hidecki, or even a bet on the number of balls hit in the water on the island green 17th (even though all players had played the 17th) as far as I know were no action.
PGA Tour rules specify that if one round is completed and an event is called off, 50% of the prize money is paid. In this case, they chose to pay the money anyway, but the title and trophy weren’t awarded and Hidecki’s record-tying round won’t be added to the record books. If those three players had finished, what would happen to bets such as full-event player matchups and futures? One opinion I’ve heard was that player matchups would have been graded (of course, the opinion came from a bookie). For futures, if the PGA tour didn’t officially declare a winner, there would be no action.
One book’s rules I checked indicate that if 36 holes aren’t completed, full-event bets have no action. Others don’t address this at all, so who knows. As I said, this is a black swan event in sports betting and a lot of related situations aren’t covered in the rules. It’s yet another reason that legal U.S. books need to have a standard rule book that covers as many situations as possible.
? PropSwap — PropSwap is a company that allows a bettor holding a physical future ticket sell it to another bettor willing to pay the asking price. PropSwap charges a commission for bringing the bettors together. Let’s say someone was offering a $100 future ticket paying 12-1 on Kansas to win March Madness for $500. You think it’s a good price and buy the ticket. March Madness is canceled so now what happens? You can cash the ticket and collect the $100 face value from the book, but what about the other $200? Since Prop Swap is only a middleman and has no booking interest, it can’t make such bettors whole. My opinion is that this was part of the buyer’s risk and there’s no recourse. PropSwap took a different approach. “We are calling upon our community of sellers to return the profits collected from their college basketball sales this year, and help make the buyers on PropSwap whole,” the company said, in a statement, adding that it would offer rewards for doing so.
Yeah, good luck with that.
When I was a kid I was a sports nut, and there was little in the way of sports on TV. So I watched Wide World of Sports religiously each week, and became a fan of barrel jumping, ski flying, log rolling, and many other strange sports that were featured each week. This reminds me of that. As of this morning all that’s left is the UFC, and who knows how long that will last. This sucks!
[Editor’s Note: Blair’s book, All About Sports Betting, will be published this year.]