For the past few months, the gambling market has faced its share of problems regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It is probably the most popular term that you have heard in 2020.
The virus has greatly affected livelihoods, with social distancing and lockdown measures by governments being the new norm. Consequently, various forms of sports were suspended to curb the spread of the virus. Without sports activities, life became boring for fans. It also meant no chance for sports betting at all.
The Streets Are Not Yet Clear
Now that different countries are reopening their economies, some sports like football have started resuming. However, supporters are not allowed in the stadium during the match. The silver lining is that punters can now bet online. This is likely to break the boredom and revive the sports betting industry.
Even with these achievements, the struggle is far from over. There is always a possibility of another outbreak. Also, the UK's betting companies may face new regulations due to the proposed mandatory levy.
Regulation Issues Relating to Mandatory Levy
Not only are the betting firms concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, but also regulation effects. There is a growing demand for the government to impose the most stringent measures on gambling brands. The House of Lords reports that the use of smartphones and soft-touch regulation promotes gambling addiction. They are calling for the regulators to prioritize the welfare of gamblers instead of focusing on profits.
A group of people is demanding for a 1% mandatory levy on the betting providers. Kenny Alexander, CEO of GVC Holdings, responded that imposing more tax will only harm the industry and drive consumers to unregulated bookmarkers.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Causes Numerous Financial Challenges
Like any other business worldwide, sports betting is still struggling from the financial drain caused by the pandemic. Even with the major professional sports leagues resuming activities, the effects are still far from over. As a punter, you cannot put all your eggs in one basket.
Betting sites are now looking for new ways to increase their profits. For instance, some companies like Ladbrokes are now focusing on casino offers, virtual sports, and E-sports to draw new customers.
Until the crisis is entirely over, traditional sports are at risk of being suspended again. The pandemic has caused uncertainty and thrown betting in disarray. For example, since the beginning of the NFL season, several matches have been canceled due to fears of the disease spreading and positive tests. Several players have tested positive for COVID-19, such as quarterback Cam Newton, which led to postponing the game between the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. These COVID diagnoses can also affect performance, something for bettors to watch moving forward.
The Emergence of New Gambling Behaviors
The wake of the Coronavirus has witnessed new behavior trends among pundits. While in general, gambling activities have reduced, statistics show that some bettors are spending more time and money gambling on certain products.
In response, the UKGC has provided measures to ensure that the operators are vigilant in their operations, including bonus offer limit and affordability checks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the world, as we know it. The sports betting industry has taken a major hit ranging from financial challenges to change in consumer betting behaviors. However, with the lifting of lockdown in various nations, the gambling industry is hopeful for better days.