There are very few industries or fields that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected in one way or another. In fact, I’m hard pressed to name even one, and sports or live betting are no exception.
Sports betting in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere was seeing a steady incline in recent years, unsurprisingly. With platforms like FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars and others, as well as smartphones offering an easy mobile experience, it’s easier than ever to place a bet on a sporting event or take part in fantasy sports.
But with COVID-19, virtually all sporting events have been put on hold, with little insight into when they’ll pick back up. There have been many solutions tossed around as to how to kickstart or even finish some sport seasons. Some have suggested that stadiums sell fewer tickets so as to maintain social distancing recommendations, while others have floated the idea of completing some seasons like NBA at Disney World.
A worldwide halt on all sports means a worldwide halt on sports betting, a proposition that daily gamblers or punters would never have imagined was even possible. I mean, this current situation we find ourselves in, in which the cogs in the global machine have ground to a halt, is completely unprecedented. You couldn’t even sell this scenario as plausible in a Hollywood movie.
In the beginning, little more than two months ago, we thought the shutdown might only last a few weeks. Painful for sure but not cataclysmic or disastrous. That weeks-long shutdown has now extended to months-long and there’s no clear vision as to when it will end, forcing career sports bettors to scramble to pick up the pieces.
Many have turned to oddball bets that they never would have considered pre-COVID. According to some, they’ve taken to placing bets on the weather and even weirder are those taking action on which actors will play who in the Tiger King movie.
On the brighter side, the recent NFL draft was held online which at least offered some excitement in the world of sports betting. Now that there’s hope that some of these sports in the U.S. and abroad will begin again, in one form or another, bettors are getting ready to jump back into what they know and love.
It’ll be a while before things get back to normal, but any action is better than no action when this is your livelihood.