FanDuel Sportsbook Grades All AAF Futures Bets as Winners, Declares Orlando League Champion

Posted on: April 4, 2019, 03:19h. 

Last updated on: April 4, 2019, 03:19h.

The Alliance of American Football may have failed to make it through its first season, but bettors who took a shot on the league at FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey are beating treated like winners nonetheless.

FanDuel AAF Payouts
Former NFL players like Johnny Manziel had hoped the AAF could help resuscitate their professional football careers. (Image: Joe Robbins/AAF/Getty)

On Wednesday, FanDuel announced that it would grade all futures bets on the AAF championship as winners, regardless of the teams that had been bet on.

FanDuel Gives Credit to AAF Bettors

That came along with an announcement that the company was considered the 7-1 Orlando Apollos to be the unofficial champions of the league, thanks to the fact that the team – coached by Steve Spurrier – had a league best 7-1 record.

But despite that declaration, the bookmaker also announced that it would pay out all bets on any team to win the AAF title, even including the two teams that had been eliminated from playoff contention, the Memphis Express and the Atlanta Legends.

“For the fans that bet on the AAF, the least they should expect is for a competition to conclude as it should,” FanDuel said in a statement. “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.”

The move will certainly be a welcome one for bettors who had funds outstanding on the league, though it’s not quite as generous as it might sound at first glance. Winners won’t receive actual cash, but will instead receive credit that can be used in FanDuel’s mobile betting app. It’s also not costing the company all that much: according to ESPN, FanDuel says the giveaway is costing them under $10,000.

While FanDuel’s decision is a headline-generating promotional move, bettors who took a shot on predicting the AAF champion at other sportsbooks aren’t exactly being left out in the cold. Most bookmakers will likely void and refund all bets, with ESPN reported that that’s exactly what will be happening at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, for instance.

Dundon Pulls the Plug After Eight Weeks

While the AAF generated reasonable television ratings and – for at least some teams – respectable attendance figures, the writing was on the wall that the league might not make it through its first full year.

Last week, majority owner and chairman Tom Dundon told USA Today Sports that he didn’t think the league could survive unless the NFLPA allowed the AAF to use young NFL players that were buried deep on their teams’ depth charts.

That apparently led Dundon to pull the plug on his investment after Week 8 of the regular season was played this past weekend. That decision wasn’t supported by everyone involved with the league, however, with co-founder Bill Polian releasing a statement saying that he felt the league had produced a strong product.

“I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football,” Polian said. “When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, play our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all.”