When the global pandemic started out, the far-reaching effects thereof were unknown and there are still aftershock effects being felt now. Many countries have reported second waves of the virus spread and the challenges keep mounting. There are areas and sectors that have been hit harder than others, but none so much as the sporting world. But where there are sports, there is also someone who wants to make a bit of money. That is why sports betting and casinos have also taken a massive hit in their revenue. Here is how these sectors have been knocked by COVID-19.
Looking at casinos
When it comes to the brick and mortar casinos, the picture is bleak with all the social distancing protocols and rules and regulations about enclosed public spaces. People have decided to spend their time where they can experience a semblance of normality. On a global scale, the revenue of casinos is expected to decline by as much as 11%, but the numbers still need to be confirmed.
On the other hand, seeing that people have been denied their ritualistic weekend gambling outings, many have now resorted to online casinos. Many a top-rated casino online have sprung up in Canada and the figures show that the online casino industry has expanded by over 77% compared to this time last year.
Many gamblers have now migrated from their usual offline gambling to online gambling. The allure of variety and being able to gamble on an international level has many new players logging on.
Although the global gambling revenue has taken a knock, the migration to online gambling has increased the revenue of online gambling by roughly 13.2%. This comes as no surprise as a study that was conducted in Ontario showed that a third of online gamblers stated that they only got into it due to the health pandemic.
Although many sports have been affected by the health pandemic, few of them have been hit as hard as football. It is the most-watched sport in the world and for months on end, all major tournaments were put on hold.
This year was set to see the world’s best teams contend for an Olympic gold medal once more, but the event has been postponed indefinitely. The Euro 2020 has been delayed to 2021 and other tournaments have also bit the dust.
Although the bigger football franchises had some money to keep them afloat during the various lockdown periods of the participating countries, the smaller ones were not so lucky. Some of them were even forced to call it a day.
Although there are some tournaments that have resumed, the stadiums are empty and all the games have to be watched from the comfort of your home. Those season tickets are not going to help much for the remainder of this year and it is still uncertain whether fans will be allowed back into sporting arenas in the near future.
Seeing that people were forced to stay at home, online sports betting took a turn for the better and people have seen the light of opportunity and diversity in their gambling habits. Where people were traditionally fixated on one sport, they have now turned to a myriad of other sports, including esports and virtual sporting events.
Seeing that more people are working from home, they also have more time to invest in studying their new sport and make informed betting choices.
The biggest talking point of online betting is, of course, esports. Over the years, the sport has grown exponentially and the money that is being poured into the arena is staggering.
In 2017, the total investment in the sport was around $470 million. In 2018, that figure reached $4.5 billion. This is one of the reasons why Amazon acquired Twitch, the game streaming giant for $1 billion.
All in all, the sports betting arena is looking healthy and with so many new streams of sports that people have been awakened to, it is not hard to believe that the total revenue of sports betting has increased to levels higher than last year this time. The new era is set to drive the gambling industry as people are enjoying the new modes of betting.