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2020 worldwide changes in the betting industry

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(© Kaspars Grinvalds –

During the last few years, the popularity of sports events such as FIFA, NFL, and Champions League has been soaring high. High-profile sports such as baseball, soccer, and cricket are also attracting the attention of many consumers, which has led to sponsorships for the players and the teams. Combined with the efforts of sports organizations in advertisements and promotions, the industry has attracted a very large audience.

But like other industries, sports betting is also prone to change, and 2020 was quite different from the previous years due to the Covid-19 virus that started in China. The virus resulted in a series of lockdowns, travel, and movement restrictions, which adversely affected the betting industry.

Other factors that affected this industry are technology as well as the economies of the countries. Additionally, the interest levels also decided the amount of participation on the players’ side. According to Statista data firm, the international sports betting industry is estimated to worth $250 billion, and the online sportsbooks account for over $39.7 billion of this amount.

Top changes in the betting industry

Use of virtual money instead of hard cash

Most bettors now prefer to choose their games from an array of games that come in different price ranges. These gambling enthusiasts prefer parlays, spread betting, treasures, and money line bets since these platforms usually offer rewards as either money or physical goods. It’s rare nowadays to find a gambling operator that still operates on hard cash as they see it as risky move that also poses many hazards.

The change in the payment system has made it easier for bookmakers to reward the players with virtual money. Therefore, players can use this cash to wager on other games on the site or withdraw them as cash. With this advancement, it’s easier for a company to track the spending expenditures of its customers and create a detailed report.

Covid-19 and the shift to online betting

Ever since the inception of the Covid-19 pandemic, gambling behaviors have changed in the industry. The novel coronavirus shut down major sports events and companies and led to the destruction of the sports-gambling industry. But on the other hand, the online sportsbook operators do not face the same challenge as they have experienced a massive increase in the number of their users and activities since March this year. But these online bookmakers have been pondering what to offer after many sporting events were postponed. Some of them such as Megapari offer pro table tennis, simulated NFL games and Belarusian football betting.

But the shutdown was also not precipitated and came at the wrong time for sports gamblers and various betting entities. For instance, many enthusiasts had wagered on the upcoming NCAA tournament to a tune of $8.6 billion; however, it never came to be with the postponement of the games. Many have now turned to online gambling as they have been forced to work from home. But some have also decided to stay away from gambling and wait for things to get back to normal.

Sports betting market: Legalization of sports betting

Many U.S. states have been continuing to legalize sports betting like in other European countries such as Italy, the UK, and Denmark. Other countries in the world are also legalizing sports betting, which has created new opportunities for the growth and expansion of this industry. In September 2016, the Singapore government relaxed its tough laws related to gambling. This led to the improvement of the industry with a large number of new players joining the gambling platforms in this country. California also announced in 2019 plans to legalize gambling in the state, which will boost the industry once it is fully implemented.

Increasing Popularity of mobile betting

One of the popular trends in the betting industry is the increasing popularity of mobile device betting, which has been made possible by advancing technology. Nowadays, it’s hard to mention technology without touching on mobile devices. With these smartphones, players can now place their wagers at any time or place. Also, most of the betting sportsbooks have developed mobile apps that users can download and install on their mobile phones and play with many conveniences when they want to. The apps have unique features, such as notifications that remind the punters of the available bonuses and promotions. Besides the apps, you can access the games via web browsers, which run on any devices enabling the player to access any service conveniently via their mobile phone, tablet, or PC.

Last-minute wagering

Not so long ago, it was impossible to place a bet on a game that is about to begin or one that is in progress. But due to technology, punters can bet on a game immediately before it starts or when it’s in progress. A player can easily cancel a placed bet or cancel some games in a multi bet if he feels that the outcome may not favor his prediction. These features have made online betting more enjoyable and attracted new players who have led to an increase in the total revenue. The good news is also that players can access these features via their mobile devices from any location. A player can comfortably place a bet at the comfort of his seat, and though the odds are less favorable when you wager while the game is in progress, it offers players more flexibility of getting nice profits.

Rise of esports

The last few years have been a hallmark for the esports games, which are rising in popularity with each passing day. Esports are organized, multiplayer video games done by professional players. These games include Player Unknown Battlegrounds and StarCraft, and they generated a total of over $650 million in revenue in 2017 with the figure expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2020.

This rise of the esports market has made many sports operators allow betting on different esports matches such as tennis, golf, and rugby. This has helped generate more revenue for the overall industry.

The betting industry experienced massive changes in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, technology, bettors’ preferences, and more. The industry will also likely continue to improve in the Post Covid-19 era as developers are even embarking on modern software to improve the player experience. Also, the advent of mobile phone gaming has transformed sports betting; many people can now wager on their favorite games without having to visit traditional sportsbooks.