It has been reported that the Covid-19 outbreak and the cancellation of multiple sports events will have an impact on sports as an industry, but also the sports betting industry. Many events have already been cancelled, and we reported on that 10 days ago.
That resulted with a surge in the interest in eSports, but the betting industry is expected to be hit severely. The European Gaming and Betting Association has already adjusted the forecasted gaming revenue for the year, in light of the new situation and the picture is rather grim.
The North American market to suffer the least
The estimate before the virus pandemic was that the global industry would generate $473 billion, but that is down to $421 billion now, an 11% drop. The figure and the expected loss aren’t the same for all markets. The estimated GGR value in Asia and Oceania is down 16% compared to the expected value prior to the outbreak.
Europe’s decline will be a lot less significant compared to Asia and Oceania. Namely, the European market is expected to decrease by 9%, whereas the North American market will sustain the least heavy blow with a decline of just 7%.
On the other hand, online gambling is expected to be on the rise with the expected growth projected anywhere in the range of 13% to 16%, although sports betting will likely suffer, including both offline and online betting.
The Secretary General of the Association said that the safety and the health of the public and the general population are far more important than the industry’s profits, adding that it is sad that so many iconic sports events have been postponed or cancelled. He had no doubts that the cancellations will have an impact on the industry and its sustainability.
Initiative to limit punters to £50 a day
Speaking of the gambling industry and its sustainability, there is a UK initiative that urges companies to impose a wagering cap and limit players to betting only up to £50 daily. It has been suggested, or at least that’s what some MPs claim, that certain betting companies have been pushing punters to place wagers on riskier sports since there are virtually no mainstream events.
It has been reported that betting operators have been suggesting obscure events to their customers. An internal email circulated among William Hill staff reportedly instructed employees to talk to their customers about available events they could wager on including Japanese baseball and table tennis.
Moreover, it has also been noted that William Hill marketed international soccer action to its US players, referring to the Belarus Premier League. Other companies have been tried to get punters to play online casino games instead of sports betting.
Virtual sports events are another type of events that have been promoted by certain operators. MPs from the cross-party parliamentary group that deals with gambling related issues have already written a letter to the industry trade body, asking the industry to impose a daily limit of £50 to prove its commitment to protection of society and peoples’ finances.