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Sporting Betting: Its Prospects for Further Development and Alternatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Ivanna Shostak
24 April 2020, 13:16
Votes: 1

The high speed of COVID-19 spread has led to the fact that many countries have introduced restrictions in many fields (more information on this subject at our betting sites news). Quarantine and cancelation of numerous events are causing a profound effect on the economy and business. The crisis affected the betting and gambling markets as well. Thus, the representatives of these fields need to adapt to the current situation and change their focus.

Sporting Betting: Its Prospects for Further Development and Alternatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 17, Betting in face of COVID-19 online conference dedicated to operating a betting business during the coronavirus pandemic took place. In the online mode, a number of speakers discussed the latest trends of the industry and examples of successful crisis overcoming, as well as provided their forecasts for industry development.

Sporting bets are becoming less popular

Cancelation and postponement of numerous sports events in almost all the countries of the world have become one of the most important quarantine measures. According to Maria E. Arnidou, Marketing & Communications Manager at Fantasy Sports Interactive, 140 sports events on all continents were put off due to the pandemic. This led to the fact that the number of bets on sports decreased significantly, which does not seem very surprising taking into account the current circumstances.

Stephen Crystal, Head of Betfred Sports USA Development, in his turn, confirmed that now bookmakers are looking for more new options to fill the space created by the postponement of traditional sports events. He had conversations with representatives of almost all North American sports associations, and none of them knew when tournaments and competitions would take place again. According to the expert, at present, land-based betting shops are closed while online ones still work but their selection of offers is limited to a few sports such as football in Belarus, for instance.

This situation, of course, could not help but adversely affect the bookmakers’ revenue, which seemed to have only grown up to this point. Thus, Harry Lang, founder of London marketing consultancy Brand Architects, who was among the experts to provide a deep insight into the betting industry and its state during the pandemic of coronavirus, speaking about the worst consequences of the COVID-19 on the industry, claimed that, unfortunately, a lot of people lost their jobs since the betting companies do not make enough money.

Alternatives to sports betting on line  

Sporting Betting

It is clear that wagers on the most popular world sports have been a vital aspect of many people’s lives. The current year was supposed to be successful for sports bookmakers taking into account a large number of important events taking place in this field, including the Olympic Games, but the forecasts did not come true. Due to coronavirus, major sports events were postponed, and bookmakers began to look for diverse alternatives, which, as experts say, are not really great options in some cases. This opinion is shared by Harry Lang, who, during the online conference, spoke about wagers on the weather as an example of new very odd markets emerging for betting at the moment.

In general terms, most experts agree that the best alternatives for sports betting are wagers for eSports, virtual sports, and fantasy sports.

Online betting sport vs. eSports wagers

Taking into account the current circumstances, bets on eSports are growing in popularity. Esports refers to competitions among players or their teams based on video games. For some time, eSports was considered only a gaming activity, however, after the option of making bets on certain teams became available, it turned into a form of gambling.

According to Harry Lang, last year, the worldwide eSports betting market was worth approximately five hundred and sixty million dollars in revenue, and it is estimated that by 2023, eSports betting turnover will be more than thirteen billion dollars. The expert noted that most of the bets on eSports still account for skin betting – wagering utilizing virtual items in games instead of money. And currently, the leaders of the market are League of Legends, CS:GO, and Dota2. On the other hand, as Lang said, there are certain issues on this market: minor betting, the absence of know your customer guidelines, and frauds.

sporting bets

Another expert – Ian Smith, Integrity Commissioner at Esports Integrity Coalition – also paid attention to dangers behind massive attention to eSports. According to him, during 2018, 74 suspicious eSports bets were recorded, and the figures were quite similar in 2019. The leader in suspicious bets among the esports disciplines is Dota 2 (43% of all reported cases). Therefore, in order to avoid reputation and financial losses, Smith advised bookmakers to become more attentive and check all the information available to them carefully.

Odds on sports betting: virtual competitions 

Virtual sports represent simulations of real sports activities, and the teams feature generic versions of the actual players. The outcome of such competitions is determined by the random number generator and it often drastically differs from the results of real matches.

Thus, a number of betting companies have already started offering wagers on virtual sports. Due to its availability, the lack of significant issues with broadcasts and fixed games, as well as the short duration of the competitions, bets on virtual sports have quickly become highly popular among a lot of people.

Currently, many representatives of the betting industry claim that due to cancellation and postponement of numerous sports events, virtual sports have come to the forefront. Martin Wachter, CEO and Founder of Golden Race – a company that provides virtual betting solutions, has also confirmed this opinion. Based on the information received from four hundred bookmakers, the expert informed about the 206 % growth in virtual sports bets (and virtual football is the most popular among them).

Fantasy mobile sports betting

Fantasy sports, in contradistinction to virtual or traditional sports, provide an important aspect of participation since players’ task consists in building their own imaginary teams made up of real-life players instead of wagering on existing teams.

online betting sport

The results depend on the real-life performance of the chosen players. Therefore, the strategy of betting is extremely similar to the one used for wagering on real sports events: it is necessary to analyze athletes’ skills and statistics. At our online magazine, you can get more information about what are daily fantasy sports.

According to Maria E. Arnidou, fantasy sports activities are considered to be a global favorite. For instance, in Canada and the United States, approximately sixty million people play fantasy sports (80% of them prefer fantasy football). The expert also added that this market is expected to grow by nearly nine billion dollars during the next five years.

Future of the traditional sports betting web site

Will sports betting be again so popular? This is a question that interests most people. Of course, probably, real sports events will come back to life soon and become the center of fans’ attention. Thus, the industry of sports betting is likely to return to its normal state in the nearest future.

However, if the quarantine takes a much longer period of time, for example, a few months, another scenario seems quite possible. Demand for wagers on eSports, virtual and fantasy sports will continue to grow, so real sports betting will become less popular. 

FAQ about sports betting industry

How does sports betting work?

You simply need to place a bet on a selected sporting event. You win if the athlete or the team you wagers on wins. If the athlete or the team or you wager on does not win – you lose your bet.

How to understand sports betting?

mobile sports betting

If you want to understand how to make bets on sport, you need to start with theory. On the Internet, you will find numerous useful articles, for instance, betting on sports online in apps, and videos, in which experts will share with you interesting information on this subject. 

Is sports betting legal?

In some countries, sports betting is legal, in others – no. In any case, if you want to try wagering on sports, find out whether it is permitted by law in the state where you live.

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