Impact of Coronavirus on Online Sports Betting in the USA
Since early this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. The pandemic has not only affected the typical way of life but also put a standstill to the sports industry with major sporting events including the March Madness stalled.
An Overview on the Online Sports Betting in USA
Online sports betting in USA was legalized in May 2018. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Iowa, West Virginia, Rhode Island, to name a few are some of the legal online sports betting hotspots in the USA.
Typically, the months of March and April are believed to be the thriving period for online sports betting in the USA with the majority of the live sporting events right from NBA to NFL.
Fans make wise bets on teams and players to win huge bucks. In fact, there is a myriad of sports betting apps and sites where hundreds of sports enthusiasts place bets based on their intuition and insights. Nevertheless, online sports betting in the year 2020 witnessed a huge setback not only in the USA but around the world.
A case study on the impact of coronavirus on sports betting in New Jersey, USA indicated a drop by 58.3% in March 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.
Moreover, the money wagered in online sports betting during March 2020 was only $187.1 million, which was quite low when compared to $372.4 million in March the previous year. (Source: New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement)
Similarly, Indiana sportsbook operators witnessed a 60% drop compared to last year with $187 million during March 2020.
Experts predict a loss of close to $43 billion with some of the crucial live sporting events including Major League Baseball, NBL, NHL, etc. were either cancelled or postponed in March.
The big moment, the many anticipations and hopes of wagering and winning big were lost to the coronavirus pandemic this year. That being said, the gambling and sports betting industry were crucially hit while most of the casinos with sports betting options were shut down.
In fact, a report released by the American Gaming Association indicated that out of the 989 casinos in the USA, around 987 casinos were shut down by the end of April 2020 resulting in unpaid furlough for over 650,000 casino employees.
And during this crucial time when the world of sports is in a state of limbo, the USA sports industry, on the whole, is looking to stay afloat by implementing cost-cutting and unpaid furloughs.
In this bid to conserve the sports capital the previously planned product launches during the major sporting events like MLB, March Madness, etc. are being pushed for later dates.
While the USA sports betting after the Coronavirus pandemic remains to be seen, the online sports betting industry is coming up with creative ways of keeping the sports betting enthusiasts entertained.
How the online sports betting industry is responding during this pandemic?
The online sports betting industry is presently relying on online game providers, the daily fantasy sports industry, and also e-sports or video-game simulations. While sports simulation in online gambling comes as a no surprise, gamblers, and gamers are wagering on these simulated sporting events. In fact, new betting pools are being launched at the online casinos with e-sports.
And, although the daily fantasy sport differs from sports betting, it is considered to be legal in more than 40 US states. As opposed to sports betting, which is legal in close to 17 states in the US, players place bets on sportsmen or athletes where their statistics are computed to choose the bet winners.
To summarize, compared to the revenue generated via sports betting in March 2019, the industry witnessed a drop of 60%. And, while the live sporting events are stalled, the online sports betting industry in the US is coming up with innovative and entertaining betting pools. Right from esports to daily fantasy sports, online casinos are implementing radical changes to keep sports enthusiasts enthralled and engaged.
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