Is Sports Betting in Danger Right Now?
With so many sports being cancelled, what happens to the sports betting industry we are so used to? It’s a part of the game that isn’t thought about much in terms of economic impact and viability, but it feeds off of sports activities. Without the sporting events happening, the betting industry is hugely effected.
Now, many countries are keeping their sports teams in a bubble, cordoning them off from the outside world and letting the players live away from everyone else. This may work for the short term to keep the games going, but it isn’t sustainable over the long term.
How long can players be kept from their families and friends before they are tired of it and want to break out of the bubble? In countries that are slowly reopening, the players may be able to integrate back into the rest of the population, but that comes with a risk. Gaming leagues are concerned about players who may contract the virus and be placed into quarantine for a couple of weeks or longer and be unable to play at a crucial time.
It’s fine to say to players that they need to stay in the bio bubble for a few months until everything blows over, but what about when the second wave hits or the virus becomes seasonal? All of this will adversely affect their ability to play well and live comfortably.
How Shutdown Affects the Industry
The solution that many countries have found is to simply shut the games down, of course. With no games to bet on, the betting pools close, the betting venues shutter and the betting industry goes broke.
It may not be any great loss for the consumers, as they will simply find another betting option. Perhaps slots or online casinos or a similar online gaming options will hold their interest and feed their betting habit. That’s no consolation for the sports betting industry, though, which is suffering considerably in these times.
The sports betting industry has seen a drop-off of around 75% in the hardest hit areas where shutdowns are most severe. Some of this is only temporary, but even when sports open back up and the games are resumed, a lot of the customers may have moved on. Interest in sports betting may have waned if the industry isn’t allowed to operate at its peak due to a lack of games to bet on. This is a serious problem that the industry is scrambling to figure out a solution for.
While many businesses can find a secondary revenue stream to operate from, sports betting relies on sports games being played. That may mean that some betting sites will have to branch out to include additional sports or additional countries to satisfy their customers. It may mean a new focus on fantasy leagues over traditional sports.
How Shutdown Affects the Consumers
Of course, many of those people who bet on sporting events just find other sporting events to interest them. They may not be able to bet on football matches or cricket in some parts of the world, so they move on to basketball, horseracing or something else that tickles their fancy. Normally, they would never think about betting on anything other than their favourite sport, but people are doing a lot of things these days they never thought they would do.
Betting habits are heaving change as well, with many consumers spreading their bets or using a variety of betting services as opposed to just one or two. This is actually a perfect opportunity for new betting services to step in and offer a more scattered approach to the industry that might incorporate other kinds of gambling and not just sports bets. Consumers may be open to different kinds of gambling as their choices change rapidly in this environment.
How Shutdown Affects the Players
It is worth noting as well that shutting down sports and sports betting has an effect on the players. Looking at just the betting side of things, a recent trend in sponsorship in the UK has been to use player jerseys as advertising opportunities for betting services. Bet365 has made a name for itself as one of the biggest jersey ad sponsors, but that could change as they start hurting for advertising dollars.
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