Will Coronavirus Boost the Betting industry?
Usually, when a natural disaster occurs in a specific location on the globe, all the local businesses are affected by it and it takes time to recover and put all the bricks back in place. However, what happens when we need to deal with a threat on a global scale, which is exactly what we’re going through at the moment with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In this article, we will be going back in time a little bit and see how the sports betting activities survived through all the human crisis we had in the past.
How is Coronavirus affecting the sports world?
Sports leagues and federations across the globe are monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak and some countries have already decided to take action. Most of the European countries have canceled or postponed events and games, or decided to hold events without spectators. Italy took the most sever actions due to the high number of cases reported and the government now suspended all sporting activities until April 3. The Italian Football Federation has already postponed a couple of games over the past two weeks, but the virus continued to spread across the country and now all the football games have been canceled for almost a month.
British sports are also set to face a potential hit worth hundreds of millions of pounds if they have to cancel Premier League football fixtures or massive sports events such as Cheltenham 2020, Grand National 2020, etc. For example, the Cheltenham festival was canceled back in 2001, which was only a three day-event at that time, and it cost the betting industry over £100 million. These days, the Cheltenham festival is being held over a four-day period and usually, the bookmakers are making £500 million in turnover.
Other sports are also suffering due to the virus outbreak, as the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix has been canceled, while the chances for the Olympics of being chopped are pretty high.
Bookmakers versus Coronavirus
Betting activities started more than 2000 years ago and have survived all these years despite the society around the globe have confronted with wars, diseases, epidemics, etc. The big question is how this betting industry managed to overcome all these incidents and still be one of the most profitable industries in the world.
If a tragedy happens just in a specific location, for example, an earthquake, a severe storm or any natural disaster, that zone will definitely be affected as well as the businesses around. However, this is not the case for the online betting industry because people tend to lock themselves in their houses during a disaster and start placing bets on sports or gamble at the online casinos. This has been in the case in Australia when the recent bushfires happened. According to the Australian online gambling agency, the people have placed more bets during this period than in other intervals of time, and the explanation is pretty simple: they didn’t have anything else to do than protect themselves in their own houses. We all know that Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers and it’s a focusing point for all the big bookies around the world.
We can’t say for sure that the bookmakers will make a huge profit in this period because things are different. The virus threat is now on a global scale, so most of the sports betting events will be canceled, which means that people won’t be able to place bets on their favorite competitions, games or tournaments. Furthermore, the street betting shops will probably be closed if things are getting more severe, which is another hit for the bookmakers. However, not the whole betting industry will be affected and that’s a fact because betting doesn’t involve only sports betting, but also online casinos, bingo rooms, poker tournaments, etc. Some governments started to tell people to try and stay more in their houses, and if you’re a gambler what you will do in this situation? You will probably do the same thing as the Australians did, you’re be going to try and luck and gamble.
To sum up, bookmakers will be hit, but not that hard, especially because they always find a way to survive. For example, some of the bookies at the moment are offering odds and prices for events to be canceled or not due to the Coronavirus outbreak, while others are just trying to attract more people in with free bets, bonuses, credits, etc for the events that are still running.