Bengals vs. Bills Game Suspension Has Bettors Checking the Fine Print

  • Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field and is in critical condition
  • The Suspended game poses different outcomes for affected bettors
  • PointsBet exec “massively recommended” the game get suspended
  • Station Casinos, South Point sportsbooks will refund all affected bettors
  • One FanDuel bettor was looking to make $324.5k on the Bengals to win
Paul Brown Stadium
The NFL’s suspension of the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium (pictured) on Monday night has left bettors in different states of play. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Tragic event in Cincinnati

Ohio’s New Year cheer at the launch of legal sports betting came crashing down at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium following the NFL’s suspension of the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals after Bills safety Damar Hamlin shockingly collapsed on the field.

left sportsbooks fielding questions from bettors

Though Hamlin’s well-being is first and foremost in everyone’s minds, the no-result of Monday’s game has left sportsbooks fielding questions from bettors as to what becomes of their wagers. BetMGM is waiting on the NFL’s guidance for the game. The New Jersey-headquartered sportsbook took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask bettors for their patience until the NFL addresses next steps:

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the game’s suspension caught bettors on the hop. The daily cited Las Vegas sportsbooks issuing different advice to bettors based on the house terms and conditions regarding the affected bets.

At Westgate SuperBook and Circa Sports, bettors will get a refund if the completed game takes place eight days after the original start date. Until the NFL provides an update, however, these bets remain live.

Different house rules

The Monday night game was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field during the first quarter. His heartbeat was restored on the field and as of Tuesday morning, he is in critical condition and under sedation at a Cincinnati hospital.

During the game, PointsBet head of HR Patrick J. Sandusky went on to Twitter to say he’d “massively recommended” the game get suspended if he had a say:

According the LVRJ, Station Casinos and South Point sportsbooks will refund all bettors with wagers on the Bengals/Bills game. These two operators’ house rules state games must last at least 55 minutes to be classified as official. Games that don’t qualify as official have their status changed to no action, with bets refunded.

For bettors with money riding on the Circa Million IV contest, the game must be completed by 1:59am Wednesday to be “eligible to be graded as a win, loss or push.” Those with live wagers via Westgate SuperContest have a deadline of end of day Tuesday for the rescheduled game to be played and graded.

Event overshadows launch

It’s still unclear judging by bettors’ reactions what FanDuel’s status is regarding the affected bets, such as this one in which a FanDuel bettor was looking to make $324.5k on the Bengals:

Having an NFL home game in Ohio on the back of sports betting going live on New Year’s weekend had all the ingredients for a feel-good party atmosphere at Paul Brown Stadium until Hamlin’s tragic collapse. Fans, bettors, players and officials were, nevertheless, in support of the NFL’s decision to suspend the game as Hamlin’s fight for his life killed off any appetite for a game.