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The Sports Betting Industry Amid a Pandemic

April 30, 2020 143 0
The Sports Betting Industry Amid a Pandemic

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It comes as no surprise that the global economic status is suffering a significant loss as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. A lot of businesses close temporarily, and most nations are implementing total lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic deals a blow to various industries, including sports. Since early March, major leagues and associations have been canceling or postponing their events. That saddens sports enthusiasts and people in the industry. Consequentially, the sports betting sector is also scrambling to adapt to the lack of sports events.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the World of Sports

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the sporting calendar. Even the upcoming Summer Olympics has been pushed back a year.

The social distancing measures brought in to limit the spread of the virus hit sporting fixtures. All the aspects of sports have been affected, from media coverage to athletes themselves. Media businesses and sports betting firms are cutting costs to keep their businesses afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They are trying to be creative in keeping their audience amused while much of the sports world is in limbo.

For context, sports leagues have three primary income streams: commercial (advertising partnerships and sponsorship), match day revenue (hospitality and ticketing), and broadcasting (sales of media rights).

Professional sports leagues are akin to entertainment firms. Each team is like a different channel. It has its fan base, identity, and staff. However, the leagues set the overall programming schedule. Like in the entertainment industry, its value is higher with more eyeballs on the product.

Major sports are dependent on broadcasting income. Anything longer than a temporary cessation would see the leagues fail to fulfill their commitments to broadcasters. That limits their capacity to distribute income back to the clubs. No games mean no matchday income nor TV deals; hence, no clubs.

How the Sports Betting Industry Is Coping With the Pandemic

Presently, numerous land-based bookies and casinos across the globe have temporarily shut down to help prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, operators are now concentrating on their online customers. Many online bookies are still in operation. These are mainly the ones that offer online casino games as well.

Despite the lack of live sporting events lately, these bookies are looking for ways to provide their clients with more betting options. In addition to that, they want to ensure that they remain in business amid the pandemic.

Sportsbooks with online services are quite fortunate since they can opt to run and operate their business continuously. Online bookies such as DraftKings and FanDuel presently concentrates on their Daily Fantasy Sports businesses. Moreover, other sports bookies are launching betting pools on various topics, including TV shows or politics. Some bookies even offer odds on the weather. Individuals can now bet on temperatures in different cities.

eSports Betting Amid the Pandemic

Several bookies are starting to shift their focus towards eSports. Fortunately, eSports events can still push through since their tournaments are all online.

Bookies such as William Hill already offers odds on eSports matches such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Other famous eSports events are on games like Call of Duty, Dota 2, Fortnite, and League of Legends. Bettors can conveniently stream these matches on video streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

In unprecedented times like this, eSports can potentially play a vital role. More individuals are likely to start following eSports events as they stay in their houses during the coronavirus quarantine period.

According to experts, it is high time for the eSports industry to be in the limelight. If the quarantine period and lack of live sporting events will not advance the industry, it could mean that it may never get the attention many believe it deserves.

The pandemic crisis has been challenging sports betting operators to stay in business. But considering all these solutions, it is logical to say that they are still coping. As of right now, it is still uncertain whether or not the postponed and canceled sports events will resume by mid-April.

Sports Betting in Thailand

Online sports betting in Thailand is a piece of cake. So long as you have a stable internet connection, smartphone or PC, and bank details for withdrawal of winnings, you are good to go. Most sports betting sites follow strict verification process so ensure you have the necessary identity documents.

Wagering on sports other than horse racing is illegal in Thailand. Thai players usually turn to online sports betting. That is because the local police concentrate on physical dens instead of going after sites with a license from abroad. Although technically illegal, you can still engage in online sports betting without the risk of prosecution.

For Thai bettors, it is advisable to use foreign sites. Betting with local bookmakers can be riskier due to the unclear legislation surrounding these businesses. Also, authorities might shut these bookmakers down. That could risk your wager being lost. Nonetheless, playing online is relatively safer, more secure, and gives you more favorable odds and better offers.

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What Are the Most Popular Sports in Thailand?

Thailand is big on several sports, but football is the most popular to wager on. Other sports that Thai bettors frequently place bets on include badminton, tennis, golf, snooker, basketball, boxing, and muay thai.

Horse Racing in Thailand

As mentioned previously, betting on horse racing is legal in Thailand. The country has two major turf clubs: the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the Royal Turf Club of Thailand. However, take note that wagering on international horse racing is illegal.

Unfortunately, the already coronavirus-stricken country is also battling the deadly viral outbreak of a horse-killing virus. Numerous horse deaths have been reported in recent weeks. The African Horse Sickness (AHS) is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and spread by biting midges.

Per Pirbright Laboratory entomologist Simon Carpenter, “A sustained, persistent outbreak of [AHS] that spreads to other countries would be devastating, not only to the racing industry and companion animals, but also to some of the poorest workers in the region relying on working horses, donkeys, and mules.”

Nonetheless, sportsbooks are getting creative amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, several forms of sports betting have endured, including virtual horse racing.

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Betting on Virtual Horse Racing

Virtual horse racing betting lets punters place a wager on simulated races every couple of minutes. Its always-on aspect makes it extremely attractive since unlike real horse races, virtual races are never canceled for weather and happen around the clock. Online virtual horse racing is nearly identical to the real thing, featuring a complete lineup of wagering options, pre-race odds, and streaming video with racing commentary.

However, instead of the efforts of real horses, random chance decides the results of virtual races. Once you place your wagers and the race starts, you will see virtual horses take off down the track while a commentator enthusiastically narrates the action. Moreover, graphics are significantly better now, providing a more realistic experience.

Betting sites pay out bets at the end of every race, and then the next race gets underway shortly after. You can play and wager all you want since the whole process is automated to offer 24-hour racing action. Practically every type of bet you can make in a real horse race is available on the virtual. These include win and each/way wagers, tricasts, forecasts, and many more.

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