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Docs Sports on Change of Venue

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  • Docs Sports on Change of Venue

    Books Differ On How To Handle MNF Change Of Venue
    By Jeremy Martin

    SAN DIEGO – Just as the wild fires that are currently raging throughout Southern California are causing confusion and chaos among the residents here, the change of venue for the Monday Night Football contest between the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers –which was supposed to be played at Qualcomm Stadium and has since been moved to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. – has been causing some uncertainty in the betting world.

    Most books originally had the Dolphins listed as 3-point favorites. But after the Sunday announcement by the NFL that the game would be played in Tempe, the line jumped to six since the Chargers’ home-field advantage was taken out of the equation. This brought up an interesting dilemma for the sportsbooks. Of the three books Doc’s Sports spoke to regarding this matter, no two had the same policy for bets made before the change of venue was announced. Luckily for most books, much of the Monday action comes in on the day of the game.

    BoDog Sportsbook & Casino President Rob Gillespie decided to cancel all bets that were made before the announcement, citing the offshore industry standard. Of the three books we contacted, BoDog was the only one that had a change of venue section in their house rules. Gillespie said that all parlays that included the Monday night game would be paid off with the Monday night game being treated as a push (a five-team parlay would, in effect, be paid as a four-team parlay).

    When asked if he expected any negative feedback from customers, Gillespie stated that he believed the reactions would be mixed.

    “Basically, if you had San Diego you are happy but if you had Miami you are unhappy,” he commented. “That’s really how it breaks down. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there’s never any way to appease both sides. The people who (had open parlays), well, they just got paid as a winner, so they are happy. They have more money in their account today then they did when they went to bed last night. And now they can use that money to place a straight bet if they want.”

    According to Micah Roberts, race and sportsbook director for Palace Station in Las Vegas, all Station properties have decided to keep the bets that were made before the change of venue announcement open as live action. However, individuals holding tickets on San Diego at +3 would be allowed to void those tickets before the game and either take their money back or make a play on either side with the new number. All parlay action, nevertheless, would be locked in, as is designated by the book’s house rules.

    “Obviously, we had many more bets on the Dolphins at –3, so we are honoring those,” he said. “They have the option (of voiding their Chargers tickets) before the game, but if they come in afterwards, there’s nothing we can do.”

    At Casino MonteLago, all bets taken before the game venue was moved will be treated as live, regardless of which side was played, according to sportsbook manager Robert Terch. MonteLago was one of the few books where the action was balanced evenly, but the manager did admit he had a few patrons came in to inquire about their bets.

    Even though the situation caused some confusion for bettors, Gillespie said that there are some positives that came about as a result.

    “Any time you have stuff like this, it causes problems,” he said. “There’s two ways you can look at it. No 1, anything that causes a player stress or uncertainty is bad for the industry. But in terms of (BoDog), anything that causes the players to interact with us – and hopefully we will do better than average (in customer service) – It’s going to be a good thing for us long term. I have already had three or four e-mails from players that aren’t even clients of ours that just saw my name on the Internet and said ‘hey, my book cancelled this bet, so what did you guys do?’ And I e-mailed back that we did the same thing. So it’s even an opportunity for us to interact with clients from other books. Hiccups are bad for the industry overall, but hopefully we can turn some lemons into lemonade.”

    Jeremy Martin is the newest member of the Doc's Sports team. His work has been widely published in both print and online media. For more information or to contact Jeremy visit