Obviously, betting markets have reduced their availability amid the COVID-19 crisis, as there is not very much to bet on in terms of sport. However, with some countries beginning to show signs of lockdown easing, and with the German football authorities looking to play the rest of their season behind closed doors, some sports could start to present betting opportunities for sports fans across the world, albeit with far fewer markets.
This begs the question of how betting sites should conduct themselves during the pandemic, and what markets should be available for bettors. Political events and news stories are popular throughout the year for bettors, but at the moment almost every news story is in some way related to the crisis. This is causing betting firms to evaluate which products and services to promote, in order to make the most of a very bad situation.
Obviously betting during the crisis has slowed, but some countries have taken additional steps to protect bettors in these tough times. Sweden, for example, has said it is going to introduce a limit for bettors, meaning they are only able to deposit 5,000 Swedish Krona per week – roughly £400.
They are doing this in order to prevent the most vulnerable people in the country from putting themselves in even worse positions amid the pandemic. With people losing jobs and salaries decreasing, it is easy to imagine how quickly things could get out of control for those that already struggle with gambling addictions.
Other countries are imposing limits too, such as Germany and Spain, but these will no doubt be temporary measures. That brings up another question, one of the future of the sports betting industry itself.
With decreased market availability, sports betting sites will be struggling to attract new customers. Although a lot of betting sites now have casino functions built-in, allowing for money to be made regardless of live betting market situations, many bettors still exclusively use the live sports markets.
We could see a rise in online casino use, with bettors unable to make money elsewhere, but for how long will this last?
Even as things will slowly start to go back to normal, it could be a long item before we see regular sports events taking place, Betplanet.com.gh is a new sports betting site and they have reported a lot of new players are signing up from the UK as there are no sports events being held during the lockdown and this will lead to gaps in the market and low availability for many betting sites that focus solely on a few different sports for example. Those without casino sections or other ways of attracting customers will no doubt face massive financial struggles, and this could result in a clear-out of betting sites that are not prepared to adapt quickly enough to keep making money.
There is no question that things are going to change for the sports betting industry after the Covid-19 crisis has passed, but the effects of those changes could last for many years to come.
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