Sports Betting | The Impact of COVID-19

The sports betting industry has taken a massive hit due to the effects of COVID-19, which resulted in the cancellation of major sporting events all around the world. This included the postponed Euro 2020 and the Japan Olympics, which were both delayed to 2021. Horse racing continued behind closed doors but the Grand National was not held. With such unpredictable challenges no one can say when some of the largest national and international sports will continue.  Due to restrictions and larger countries being under quarantine, some teams are facing a very challenging time especially because of financial difficulties. Consequently, this has resulted in a reduced number of sporting events that bettors can choose from. Nonetheless, other major leagues and tournaments still take place and one can find eSports to place bets on. 

Before COVID-19 struck the world, the industry was growing exponentially throughout the years. Experts at PR Newswire predicted that by 2024, online gambling will hit at a value of around $95 billion and by 2027 we will be able to see an annual growth of 11.5%. With live sports betting being suspended and not knowing when it will return, online casinos reported an increase in activity. Moreover, some land-based casinos have also closed down and transformed their business online.

The Positive Impacts of COVID-19

Although it is a difficult time, there still were some positive aspects on the sports betting industry. Below you can find more details on each on.

  • Fantasy Video Sports Betting & eSports

Traditionally, players were fixed to one particular sport. Now they had no other option but to turn to another sport, esports or virtual sporting events. Due to sporting events being affected with restrictions and lockdown in 2020, eSports and fantasy video sports saw an increase. Sports leagues including, turned to esports and video gaming simulations that could provide new betting opportunities. This was considered as the only opportunity to attract gambling players. Many sports betting providers started to implement such gaming options. Therefore, a shift from live events to eSports and fantasy video sports was seen.

  • Gaming Habits

Sports Betting companies are already seen cutting costs while trying to find ways to keep the fans engaged to keep their business afloat. Due to this decrease in sports betting, sportsbooks had no choice but to start offering casino games. Nowadays, most sports betting sites have also included live games, poker, bingo, table games or slot machines for their players to select from. These were considered as an alternative when live sporting events were cancelled. In the future, this trend is also seen to grow. Virtual sports are seen as the closest that fans can get involve in. All gambling websites will eventually offer sports betting, eSports as well as casino games. eSports was already seen growing exponentially and it will continue to increase in popularity in the coming months. While quarantine and working from home, bettors might have more time to invest in studying a new sport or to make more informed betting choices. This is beneficial for all software providers that work with casinos. 

The Negative Impacts of COVID-19

The Coronavirus isn’t just affecting worldwide sports matches, it is also affecting people’s health. Most negative health-related impacts include factors like the risk of mental health as well as the increase of gambling and video gaming. This is heightened with more allocated free time for potential players and bettors. With many being in quarantine or working from home, gamblers are more likely to place bets that might lead to losses, which is risky on personal finances and can result in gambling disorders. That is why it is very important that all platforms offer responsible gambling services to be able to reach out and help players that are in need.

The Future of Sports Betting

Every sport has the same plan, to eventually play the scheduled games even if they have to stay behind closed doors without the fans spectating. If the games are played, betting can still take place. Nonetheless, the sports betting industry is still one of the few industries that enjoy some sort of success during this devastating time. While fans may not be able to physically attend the games, they will still be able to wager on them. Many experienced a rise in customers and due to lockdown, even more players joined and increased revenue. If you are a bettor, remember to always bet responsibly and seek help if needed. This will surely help you enjoy your experience while hopefully boosting your bankroll.

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