How Coronavirus has affected leading online gambling sites?

Added on May 26, 2024, in Gambling Articles by Gambling Gurus

The year 2020 was marked by a disastrous pandemic that brought life to a standstill worldwide. The global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic led to the death of hundreds of thousands and plunged economies into chaos. Additionally, the journey toward recovery seems to be long-drawn.

Among the desolation felt throughout the world, sport has ground to a halt in most areas and, while some events have returned on a ‘behind closed doors’ basis, nobody can predict when the sporting calendar will be able to welcome fans and return to normality.

Hitting Hard

 

Some outside observers may have little sympathy for the financial impact felt by multi-million-pound industries but that is a short-sighted view. Sport, and its associated sectors bring in vital revenue to the economy and that is the key concern in the wake of Covid-19.

The gambling sector is one area that has had to work exceptionally hard since Coronavirus brought the sporting world to a halt in March. With no sport taking place, no stakes are made and that’s an obvious concern. We can find more on bestbettingsites.uk so how have the best online gambling sites in the UK been adapting to those obvious issues?

Early Numbers

Gambling operators tend to release their revenue figures some time in arrears, so the exact financial impact won’t be made available just yet. Early indicators have, however, been concerning with some of the major providers reporting losses for the first quarter in comparison with 2019.

It’s been tough for all involved as, while Covid-19 has been impacting the world since the start of 2020, few would have predicted losing so many sporting fixtures over several months. Among all the concerns there is, however, some good news.

Diversify and Thrive

Sports betting companies rarely specialize in one form of gambling. Head to any sportsbook and it’s likely that players can switch to casino and poker while some brands also offer lottery and bingo play as part of their overall package.

Some of the biggest names have admitted that they were looking to encourage their customers to seek out other areas of their service and there has been some success in this regard. Amongst all the available options, poker has stood out and the interest in the game has never been higher.

A recent report confirms that online poker play has risen by 43 per cent since social distancing and lockdown measures started to come in around the world. Not only that, the number of first-time poker players heading online has increased by a mighty 255 per cent.

Those are impressive numbers and they should give operators hope moving forward. For now, however, it’s all about battling the current storm.

Available Bets

While Coronavirus had a devastating effect on the sporting calendar from March onwards, some fixtures continued to take place. It’s been widely publicised that the Belarusian Premier League flew a lone flag for European football but other global leagues either carried on or, in the case of Vietnam, came back onto the schedules very quickly.

On May 16, the German Bundesliga came back and while the ‘ghost games’, played in front of empty stadiums, were met with a mixed reaction, betting operators would have surely been delighted to see top flight football on the agenda.

Elsewhere, a number of sports, including basketball, soldiered on, while ice hockey in Eastern Europe also saw some action. Along with virtual sports and bets on entertainment and political markets, the betting community had some options but was this enough to satisfy the operators competing in a restricted sector?

What Lies in Store?

The immediate concern for sportsbooks is to get more sport back onto the fixture list as soon as possible. The German Bundesliga was the first to make a move post Covid-19 but there are other top leagues set to come in.

Italy, Spain, England and Sweden are among a number of European countries who are targeting a June return for their top flight matches and that’s a hopeful scenario as far as the bookmakers are concerned.

Moving beyond that initial phase, the mid and long term futures of companies will be open to speculation. The betting industry is a crowded market and it would be no surprise to see some of the smaller operators close their doors during the second half of 2020 and into 2021.

The horizon may, however, be brighter as a whole. In America, which first opened its doors to the potential for online sports betting in 2018, may now move at a faster pace where more individual states allow operators to do business within the county lines.

Elsewhere, that rise in poker play could be significant in months and years to come. Operators will hope that many of those new players will be retained and when sport returns in its entirety, those customers will play on multiple areas of their gambling platforms.

The future is certainly unclear but, depending on a number of factors, it may actually be brighter for the betting industry than some are currently forecasting.