It is apparent that the football authorities in England, Scotland and across Europe are carefully considering their options regarding the remaining, unplayed fixtures in their elite leagues for the 2019/20 season, with some decisions already published.
Whatever decisions are taken will almost inevitably disappoint some people holding season-long bets involving these leagues. When decisions have been made and are confirmed, we are likely to face a sharp spike in the number of calls and emails when IBAS and most bookmaker customer service departments are dealing with reduced capacity and untypical working arrangements.
There are a number of points we would like to stress to people holding season-long football bets:
1) The rules that govern the settlement of a bet are the rules that were in place when the bet was struck.
2) If a bookmaker does not have rules to deal with this specific situation – many will not for understandable reasons – and if any disputes arise, IBAS will consider whether settlement decisions appear fair in the context of each league’s official decision and any other rules or terms the company had in place that might be applicable to this situation.
3) Any decisions made about the fairness of bet settlement will concern the company’s overall settlement of markets. What is fair is fair for everyone, whether they can consider themselves fortunate or unfortunate as a result.
4) IBAS does not adjudicate on decisions made by football leagues or governing bodies. We don’t decide whether it is ‘right’ or ‘fair’ to cancel the league or to complete it using arrangements that couldn’t have been foreseen when a bet was placed. What matters to us is how each bookmaker has responded to those official decisions.
5) Whatever happens, any customer with a dispute about how their bet has been or will be settled is urged to be patient. IBAS exists to consider disputes once a customer has exhausted the complaints process of their bookmaker. Completing that complaints process is likely to take longer than usual in current circumstances. IBAS adjudicates on disputes which arose anytime within the previous 12 months, so there should be no rush to lodge a dispute with ourselves.