Floridians still can’t bet on sports, but one of the state’s quarterbacks is at the center of the betting world.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was injured during Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou sacked Tagovailoa in the second quarter. Tupou finished the tackle by throwing the Dolphins quarterback to the ground. The hit was clean but resulted in Tagovailoa’s head slamming off the turf.
Consequently, Tagovailoa remained on the ground nearly motionless for more than seven minutes. Eventually, medical staff carted him off the field on a stretcher and took him to a local hospital where he was treated for head and neck trauma. He was eventually released from the hospital, but it is unclear when he will return to game action.
As a result, two major online sportsbooks are issuing refunds on certain bets related to the Miami quarterback.
FanDuel and DraftKings provide relief for Tagovailoa bettors
Friday morning, FanDuel released a tweet stating that the company would refund the following bets:
- Straight Tua prop bets
- Parlays and same game parlays where a losing Tagovailoa prop was the only losing leg
Just a few hours later, DraftKings issued a nearly identical statement. The Boston-based sports betting giant said it would refund those same bets. The Bengals were 3.5-point favorites and won the game by a 27-15 final score.
These two companies were the only major operators that announced a refund on these types of bets. Other major operators like BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook or Barstool Sportsbook did not offer refunds.
None of these companies currently operate in the Sunshine State. Despite a brief Florida sports betting launch last November, a federal judge ruled the model used for it violated federal standards. Therefore, the judge invalidated the entire Florida gaming compact and shuttered the state’s sports betting operation.
The companies offering refunds also backed a sports betting ballot initiative
The companies donated more than $37 million to the political action committee responsible for the signature gathering efforts. Florida Education Champions, the PAC behind the initiative, received $22.8 million from DraftKings and $14.5 million from FanDuel.
The initiative would allow non-Seminole entities to offer online sports betting in Florida. It also would allow pari-mutuel facilities and professional sports stadiums to operate retail sportsbooks without being a contracted vendor of the Seminole Tribe.
The government granted online sports betting exclusivity to the tribe under the now-invalidated 2021 Florida gaming compact. Furthermore, any pari-mutuel that started a brick-and-mortar sportsbook would pay the tribe 40% of gross revenue.
The PAC could not obtain the required signatures for this year’s ballot. But it’s likely to be in front of voters in 2024.
Last April, the Florida Supreme Court announced it would review the proposal. Therefore, the PAC won’t need to seek approval of the wording for its second try in 2024.
This is likely just an unrelated coincidence but refunding Tua-related prop bets and parlays that came up one Tua stat line short will certainly buy some goodwill with Florida voters.