The Alliance of American Football (AAF) may have ended up being a dud, failing after a little more than half a season, but it’s not all bad news. Some sports gamblers will still get their payouts on certain wagers, as FanDuel has announced that it will honor most bets, even those placed for the championship game that will now never occur.
FanDuel is paying out all AAF futures. It decided that the Orlando Apollos, with its 7-1 record, deserved to be called the champs and will honor any bet associated with that game, as well as others.
According to a FanDuel press release, “Since the league was unfortunately unable to crown a champion, FanDuel Sportsbook will do so. Today, FanDuel Sportsbook Risk and Trading Team has declared the Orlando Apollos the AAF Champions and will pay out all straight futures bets as winners (with site credit). We want to congratulate the Orlando players, staff and especially head coach Steve Spurrier for an impressive season. If we had the official power, FanDuel would also name Spurrier – AAF Coach of the Year.”
It continued, “Because the FanDuel Sportsbook loves football and we believe this is the very definition of a bad beat for sports fans everywhere, we are also going to pay out straight future wagers for all AAF teams as winners (with site credit).” That amount is expected to be around $10,000.
Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel Group’s chief marketing officer, added, “The AAF should be commended for trying to do something disruptive in the sports landscape, and we hope this symbolic gesture shows the players and coaches that sports fans everywhere appreciated the hard work and sacrifices they made. While we’ve declared the Apollos honorary champions, we think the biggest winners should be our customers and hope they enjoy their payouts.”
DraftKings has stepped up, as well, to take care of its customers. It announced on Twitter that it would refund all AAF futures bets and that “anyone with an open AAF bet will receive a free bet equal to their stake.”
The AAF was meant to give football fans something to look forward to in the NFL off-season. It appears now, however, that those leading the charge weren’t as committed as fans had hoped, and the league folded before its final two regular season weeks and three postseason games.