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How Will Covid-19 Virus Affect Online Bookmakers?


If you’re a sports fan, the Covid-19 global pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. Don’t get us wrong – this is a minor inconvenience compared to everything else that’s going on. But it would have been nice if we could take our minds off it all with our favourite pastime.

This way, taking a look at the listings of even the best bookmakers in UK is a bit depressing. Almost all major sports events are cancelled or postponed, so no matter how good the sportsbook is, there’s not much to do. Let’s look at how the outbreak has affected the world of sports betting, and maybe think about some ways that could help us deal with the situation.

Covid-19’s Effect on Bookies

Major UK bookmakers have gone on record stating that these are unprecedented times from a business perspective. What you have to understand here is that the situation is still fairly chaotic, and there are more urgent issues than worrying about the long-term effects.

As such, any projections about what might happen in the long run are conjecture at best. Betting companies will be put under financial strain – there’s no doubt about that. But so will the rest of the world.

Most betting sites are continuing to operate as usual, but that’s not the problem. Major European leagues and championships have all been suspended, and the same goes for American football and all the popular events in the US. This, however, has allowed otherwise overlooked sporting events to come to the forefront in ways we haven’t seen before.

For example, South American football has seen more betting attention than ever. Football in Argnetina and Brazil did not come to a hault as of the writing of this article, for instance, and punters across the globe are flocking to it due to a lack of other options. Some other events that came to prominence are Turkish football and English rugby, which both went on for days after other leagues cancelled their events.

If the claims made by major online bookmakers are to be believed, the urge their customers have to place bets has not gone down as much as one might expect. It seems that, for now, the one thing that managed to keep the bookies’ turnover up is horseracing. This is, without a doubt, one of the most popular categories in betting, and a lot of big races still took place behind closed doors.

For instance, Betfred reports that their traffic on horse races went up compared to last year. The same goes for Paddy Power and William Hill. On the other hand, other big names in the industry like Ladbrokes and BetVictor are reporting notable – though not catastrophic – drops in revenue.

So, what’s the conclusion we can draw from this? Not many things are certain, but one is: online sports betting is going to be just fine.

Betting During the Pandemic

So, where does that leave us – the customers? The Premier League, the UEFA Euro League and Champions League, and all other elite football competitions have been suspended. And that’s just if we’re talking about betting’s biggest sport.

Luckily, innovation is a staple of this industry, and the best new bookmakers are renowned for figuring out new and alternative forms of betting. Perhaps it is a perfect time for us to get into something we haven’t looked at before.

For instance, e-sports betting has seen an unexpected surge. Sure, e-sports remains a niche attraction and is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but is a perfect example of people looking for alternatives.

It also seems people have turned to betting on something that can never be cancelled – the weather. It might seem silly, but it shows how people can find ways to entertain themselves even when their prospects seem grim.

Virtual sports are another option. So are other forms of gambling such as casinos. Besides these, you could, for example, bet on popular TV shows. Sure, these are not attractive if profits are your main concern. But if you just look at betting as entertainment?

There’s plenty of things to do, all it takes is some ingenuity.

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