The 2019 Coronavirus has affected a lot of industries worldwide. Many businesses were forced to close and many events have to be canceled or postponed. One of the many industries affected by this is the sports industry. Major sporting events like the EPL, the NBA, and the NCAA championship had to be canceled or postponed because of this health issue.
The lack of sports events has then resulted in the decline of sports betting activities. After all, bookies just didn’t have plenty of odds that they can offer to their customers. Sure, there were still a few sports events that pushed through during the lockdown period but these were mainly minor events that people were not really familiar with.
Sports betting has always been a popular way to gamble for people in the UK. Every time sports events like the EPL and the FIFA Cup is on, people would really take the time to visit bookies to place their bets; taking help from popular bookmaker reviews site like Efirbet.com. It lets them know which online bookmaker are the best out there.
Now, you may be wondering what these bookies were up to during the time that there were close to none sporting events. It was at some point in March and April when major leagues have canceled their scheduled matches and sure enough, sports betting activities also plummeted during this period.
Sports betting companies had to be creative to be able to stay in business during this period. Since there were not a lot of sports odds that they can offer their customers, they began offering odds on real events, politics, and entertainment.
This helped satisfy the needs of the usual punters out there during the lockdown period as they did place bets on events like who would win reality TV shows like The Voice, Big Brother, and many other more. There were also betting companies that accepted bets on politics as the lockdown periods also happened around the time that the US was up for another election. Prop bets on politics were also accepted. People wagered on President Trump’s speeches.
In Russia, there were also bookies that accepted bets on COVID-related events. They were able to place bets on how long it will take before a city declares a lockdown or when certain supplies will start running out in certain cities as well.
Some may think that these odds were funny and they weren’t taken seriously, but these helped many bookies remain in business during the lockdown periods. However, of course, the ones greatly affected by this were retail bookies or land-based bookies. These establishments were forced to temporarily shut and it was unfortunate for bookies that didn’t have online alternatives as they really had to stop their business for a while.
Now, aside from resorting to offering odds that are not related to sports, some bookies also focused on eSports. According to the recent data that the UK Gambling Commission or the UKGC released about the country’s gambling activity for the months of March and April, there has been a rise in eSports betting.
Thanks to the pandemic, the eSports betting revenue increased to a massive percentage of 2992 percent. It was reported that the UK betting operators were able to make around 50,000 pounds from this activity in March 2019. However, this year, this number jumped to 4.6 million pounds. It is around 4 percent of the overall betting revenues that were made in March 2020.
While the eSports sector has indeed significantly grown in the last few months, the real challenge now begins for them. Since May, sports events like the German Bundesliga have already returned. The English Premier League returned in June and other sports events are scheduled to come back this July.
It’s hard to tell whether the eSports sector will still continue to experience growth in the next few months. We will still have to wait for the UKGC to release another data for that in the next months. The same goes for other forms of betting like political betting. This activity also rose during the lockdown period. The next few months will be challenging for this sector, but experts believe that political betting will also get bigger in the next few years.
For now, based on the report and data that the UKGC has recently released, what’s already known is that the sports betting sector in the UK is already recovering as major sports leagues are now back on track.