While online casinos and poker rooms boomed over the past few months with millions forced to stay at home, things over in the online sports betting sphere were quite different.
Even though sports stars are like gods in most people’s eyes, football, cricket, tennis, and horse racing pros also had to stay at home. This led to the total collapse of sport markets. The ensuing lack of traffic and revenue on sports betting sites meant that all the major UK sport betting brands had no choice but to call in emergency crisis meetings to set up plans to diversify the way they operate.
Although the question most investors were asking is why wasn’t there a crisis plan already in place, who could have foreseen the huge disruption COVID-19 would cause? Well, sports betting websites didn’t, and with no full-proof alternative solutions in place, revenues plummeted.
However, the good news is, after billions in sports betting revenue went down the tubes, action plans are being put in place in case of a new pandemic, and this could be brilliant for sports betting fans regardless of what’s coming.
Increase in Virtual Sports
One area that kept sports betting sites in action was the virtual sports sections their websites host. Members not getting their fill of sports betting action were relying on virtual greyhounds, football, horse racing, and other virtual sports to place bets as all live sports were off the table.
The issue for many sports betting websites was that they did not have enough on-the-spot promo deals in place, and some sites only had a limited selection of virtual sports markets.
This is something that we can all expect to see transform over the next few years. Dummy leagues, emergency promo deals, and higher quality virtual sports events are now in the pipeline. There is even talk of virtual reality virtual sports coming soon.
If you are interested in seeing which virtual sports markets are available today, check out sports betting site reviews at British Betting Sites BBS which fully covers virtual sports markets offered!
It is by no accident that Esports betting markets are popping up on sports betting websites and websites.
While lockdown was in place, Esports were still in full swing, and this market niche profited more than any other sport in the world from the latest pandemic. Mobile Battle Arena games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends were full, so much so they had server load issues.
Other e-sports such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, Halo 5, and Call of Duty were also in full throttle with online competitions set up with ease thanks to these games’ existing global IT infrastructure.
A significant point to make about Esports is that live streams are easy to hook up to because there are no powerhouse TV companies snapping up all the television rights. However, when you consider games like Dota 2, which has a prize pool of US$35 million for its ‘International’ tournament, it may not be long before TV companies televise these tournaments.
And that gives sports betting firms even more incentive to enter the Esports sphere because once these games go national, and people see the money involved as it becomes public knowledge, e-sports could fill in for live sports if there is another global pandemic.
Are There Any Other Sports Markets on The Way?
As far as sports betting markets go, there are only virtual sports and Esports that are alternatives to live sports.
Both are resilient to perils of future pandemics and both are growing in popularity. Virtual sports could become a whole new market of its own that challenges live sports in some areas- especially if VR solutions become a realistic option while Esports are already popular and will continue to grow until eventually being televised on major cable and satellite channels.
The only other venture that could help sports betting sites stay afloat in case of another pandemic is to include an online casino or poker room under the same logins as the sports section. This is something many of the larger betting sites such as William Hill and Bet365 already do.