Anyone who watched the latest Super Bowl knows that there was a streaker on the field with roughly five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. What they may not know is that there was a lot of money riding on that streaker, since such an occurrence is one of the most popular NFL prop bets. As it turns, though, the results of this wager were manipulated—and Bovada has made sure to remedy the situation.
Virtually everyone comes out a winner if they invested in the "Will there be a streaker on the field?" prop bet via Bovada. Everyone who wagered on "yes" is still receiving their payouts, while anyone who threw money on "no" is actually getting a refund.
Why is Bovada traveling such great lengths to pay out mulligans and successful wagers? Is there any benefit to doing so? What exactly happened with the infamous NFL streaker? We've got everything you need to know about the situation.
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Bovada Takes Charge of 2021 Super Bowl Prop Bets
Please note that this situation is still unfolding. Sportsbooks everywhere are trying to sort through the aftermath of the Super Bowl streaking controversy, and new details could continue to emerge.
The Lowdown on the Super Bowl Streaker
Within five minutes to play in the Super Bowl, a man wearing a hot-pink one-piece made it onto the field and managed to elude security long enough to delay the game. He was later identified as Yuri Andrade.
That should be the end of this story. Or this story should include a nugget about his 15 seconds of fame, or how much alcohol he had to drink.
Alas, it's really only the beginning.
Shortly after Andrade was seen running across the field, reports surfaced that he placed a $50,000 bet on the Super Bowl featuring a streaker. Given the odds at the time of kickoff, his payout stood to be around $374,000, which would have given him a massive profit.
It also would have impacted the results of other bettors.
Bovada Takes Charge
Anyone who placed money on "no" didn't realize they were wagering against the idea of someone trying to skew the results in their own financial favor. The streaking prop refers specifically to whether a person makes it onto the field. It isn't meant to factor in their motive.
At the same time, there were people who knew nothing of Andrade's ruse and won money off his antics. They can't reasonably be penalized for the motive behind the steaking. Even recording their investment as a push—which is to say, refunding their money—represents a gray area because the outcome they invested in came true.
You can understand the dilemma of sportsbooks. Do they simply pay out the victories? Do they let the losses stand? Do they treat victories as a push?
Bovada elected to prioritize the best of every outcome. They announced that winners would still be receiving their profits, but that all losses would be refunded to their customers and recorded as a push—provided it was determined they had no connection to Andrade's plan.
Bovada Puts Customers First
Over the past few weeks, many have tried to poke holes in Andrade's end result. Most have noted there's usually a cap on prop-bet amounts. The initial story that said he placed multiple wagers at Las Vegas establishments also didn't hold up because they don't accept bets on off-field events.
However, Andrade later admitted that he had friends submit multiple tickets using different Bovada accounts, which is completely feasible. It also underscored Bovada's problem. They were indirectly linked to Andrade's plan by virtue of being the sportsbook he used to carry it out.
Other places might have ignored this entirely or simply canceled all wagers, both winners and losers. Bovada's approach is much more proactive. By paying out victories and refunding losses, they have built lasting goodwill with their customer base. They've likely even created an entirely new customer base.
Returning users are bound to appreciate that Bovada had their back. Prospective bettors who don't yet use Bovada, meanwhile, should be more likely to consider their services in the future. Online sports betting is far from a perfect model, but it's a lot easier to trust a company that doesn't only have its own financial interests at heart.
A lot of people will focus on the fact that Bovada refunded losing tickets. That's not even the biggest storyline here. The more financially prudent thing to do would have been to negate all winnings. By withholding those payouts, they stood to save a ton of money. Their decision to live up to those victories is unique—and you better believe the outside world is taking notice.
A quick visit to various messaging boards reveals that some gamblers have made the switch to Bovada specifically because of how they handled this situation. Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be fallout. People may still associate Bovada's name with the streaker. The website itself may reconsider whether it offers similar prop bets in the future.
Overall, though, Bovada has boosted its reputation at a time when it could have suffered a major public relations hit. The circumstances weren't ideal—not for them or their bettors. But they've managed to make the most of it.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide whether to use Bovada or another one for all of your sports betting: