COVID-19 is still rampaging through society, forcing sports leagues worldwide to change the way they operate. This includes the NFL, which announced this week that teams will be forced to forfeit games if players face COVID outbreaks. The league also announced that unvaccinated players that violate protocol could face a $14,650 fine.
“As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to adhering to our health and safety protocols and to making needed adjustments in response to changing conditions,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo.
Now, potential surprise forfeits will certainly add spice to the upcoming football season, but the situation also affects gamblers in a weird way. What happens if you bet on a game that ends in a forfeit? Believe it or not, Las Vegas sportsbooks don't count a forfeit as a victory. Instead, everyone gets a refund. Unfortunately for the visionaries playing the long game, this also applies to season record bets. That means if a team was only one game away from going 17-0 and a gambler bet on a perfect season, they would not win the payout if a forfeit occurred. They would just be refunded their money for the initial bet.
In the end, it's going to be an exciting season for gamblers wanting to bet on a season total or even on weekly action. Not only do betters now have to worry about their team forfeiting a game and costing them a big payday, but they also still have to worry about players being forced into quarantine as well. If nothing else, this will create a very chaotic betting atmosphere for anyone wanting to get in on the action.