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College football cancellations keeps Peppermill Sportsbook on its toes

Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 8:34 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It has been a wild year at the Peppermill sportsbook.

With leagues stopping and starting play, and games shifting around because of COVID-19, John Haines, the director of race and sports at the Peppermill Sportsbook, has had to come up with solutions quickly.

“It’s been a little more complex this year but teams are still playing, we still have football to watch, and we get notifications ahead of time," Haines said. "We have a great group of guys who keep track of (cancellations). We just keep up as much as we can for people to bet. After that, we refund the bets and just keep going.”

This weekend was especially inconvenient for the book and bettors. 15 college football matchups were either postponed, rescheduled or canceled.

“Any time a game gets canceled or postponed, we just do a refund on that bet," said Haines.

The Peppermill takes care of its bettors automatically. If a matchup someone bet on is part of a parlay, the book goes through a similar process.

“A lot of people worry that their five-team (parlay) is just no good. But if they win the other four games, and that fifth game is the canceled game, then we actually still pay out," Haines said of the Peppermill’s refund process. "(The parlay) just drops into a four-teamer.”

The PAC-12 was just one conference hit hard this weekend by COVID-19. For Cal-Berkeley, their regularly scheduled game on Saturday against Arizona State got canceled because of positive tests within the Sun Devils' locker room. Instead, the Golden Bears picked up a game Sunday on short notice against UCLA.

“We had some decent action on (that game) this morning," Haines said of the Cal/UCLA matchup. "A lot of late money came in on Cal which was good for us since UCLA kicked their butt. Most people cancel their tickets or refund their bets and then just go bet another PAC-12 team if that’s (what) they care about.”

Haines added the 4-0 Wolf Pack football team always gets play at the sportsbook.

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