How the Pandemic Affected the Sports and Gambling Industries


The COVID-19 pandemic was something that not everyone is prepared for. It has been forever since a pandemic hit the world and when this happened, no one knew exactly what to do right away. It has taken many lives, has shut down many businesses, affected how people live their lives, and even changed how industries like sports and gambling are doing their businesses.

The pandemic had plenty of negative effects on almost anything. It pushed people and businesses to change their ways, hence the so-called new normal. Last year, many things had to be done differently. The sports industry somehow had to hit the pause button and surely, this wasn’t good for sports betting businesses.

For a few weeks, people didn’t have many sports to watch. Fans can’t even use the best cricket betting app or their gambling apps to place a bet on matches because there was just nothing to wager on. If there was anything, it was a sport that they didn’t follow. For a while, things were dull for the sports and betting industry.

What Happened to Sports in 2020

It was in March when the pandemic started and for many sports leagues, this was either the start of the season or they are getting close to the end of their season. Sports leagues like the English Premier League, the NBA, the IPL, and many more had to announce the cancelation or postponement of their events.

The first few months since the pandemic was quiet for sports and the leagues were only really busy with figuring out how they will be able to bring the canceled events back. It took a while for this to happen and it was mainly in June when sports started to make a comeback.

In June, the EPL returned and it didn’t take a long time before the NBA, the IPL, and other major leagues were also able to make a comeback. While people are just happy to have these sports events back, it wasn’t an easy process for this to happen.

These sports leagues had to find a way to minimize the risk of facilitating sports matches during a pandemic. With this, soccer and basketball were able to come up with the idea of using bio-secure bubbles or simply bubbles.

Utilizing the bubble is an effective way for them to push still be able to conduct sports events within a safe environment or at least lessen the risks of the COVID-19 virus. However, even this wasn’t an easy solution. Strict protocols had to be implemented for this to be effective and this includes not having any physical contact and avoiding social activities.

The bubble has challenged not only the athletes but also everyone else involved in facilitating the sports events. They were all mentally challenged because surely, it wasn’t easy to be isolated and be away from their friends and families for a few weeks or even months.

Still, this was an effective way to liven up the sports industry during the pandemic and until today, this is still used by some sports leagues. Until today, sports events still take place behind closed doors.

Sports Betting Was Struggling

The lack of sports events at some point in 2020 also resulted in a lack of betting odds that punters or sports fans can wager on. Sportsbooks struggled deeply and they had to get creative to be able to stay in business.

Many bookies resorted to minor sports events like sumo wrestling. Some decided to offer odds on non-sports events like politics, entertainment, and even the pandemic. In Russia, there were even bookies that offered odds on when there will be certain supply shortages in different places due to the pandemic. The bookies just really needed something to offer to their customers.

This went on for a while and it was only when sports came back that the sports betting industry started to recover. Sportsbooks were still losing quite a lot even if sports came back on because plenty of shops or land bookies remained closed for a while. People were mostly only able to place their bets online and this may carry on until this year.

Today, many gambling establishments are already open, but it’s most likely that people will continue to place their bets online. It’s the safer option during a pandemic and people are more free or capable of watching live streams if they just place their bets online. Land casinos and bookies that are now open are only allowed to operate at a limited capacity and to some, this may not be their preference.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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