Sports betting is an industry valued at 100 billion dollars in 2019, with an expected growth of about 8 to 9 billion in the next five years. In 2020, it took a big hit due to the pandemic. In order to reduce the transmission of the virus, sports events were suspended since the first quarter of the year.
The COVID-19 outbreak caused a significant blow to physical casinos and bookies. Shares in the stock market for gambling companies have suffered significant losses due to the cancellation of sports activities, as well as the temporary closing of land-based casinos. William Hill, one of such companies, is one anticipating about 100-million pounds in a loss this year.
With two of the major gambling industries out of the game, customers are looking for alternative mediums to dive in. Bookmakers have opted to offer odds based on random events unrelated to sports. However, it is only natural for online bettors to shift to another internet-based gambling options that provide the same thrill.
Sports betting alternatives
Fantasy sports betting is a good substitute for live sports events. The involvement of A.I. in the prediction of results may deter potential customers of the market, but people in these times will opt for the most familiar.
eSports has been a trend for a long while, but it has been generating a wider market. There are video games such as FIFA and NBA leagues where wagers can be made in vying for a certain team.
Since 2008, MMORPGs like World of Warcraft see the largest audiences in the world of eSports tournaments. In 2020, the championship prize goes as high as USD 500k. There are popular sites that stream these events. Major betting sites cater to these types of eSports tournaments because of its high viewership and demand.
Online casinos offer the same accessibility and excitement as sports betting, if not higher. There are numerous advantages to online casinos, such as high user engagement, multiplayer capabilities, and real-time winnings.
Virtual reality casinos offer interactive gameplay. These can simulate land-based casinos that make it easier for new players to adjust. Options for Pay N Play and cryptocurrency transactions attract a wider audience because of the high accessibility.
Mobile gaming options are providing frequent casino-goers with the same satisfaction of casino games at the comfort of their own homes, and even in transit. Compared to stepping inside a casino, there is no time-limit to mobile gaming. You can play whenever and however long you choose to.
The online casino player can join tournaments for those looking for multiplayer options. There are also interactive plays available in V.R. casinos. They emulate the feel of speaking or chatting with other players while playing blackjack, or poker.
As workers are advised to stay indoors for health reasons, live-dealer games have become popular. The involvement of human dealers as opposed to simulated ones, provide more trust, especially since real money is involved.
Streaming has allowed viewers to experience the thrill of trying their luck with cards using the technology of 360-degree cameras. Current technology can emulate the audio and video from sender to receiver in high quality nowadays, which can bring players closer to the feel of in-person gambling.
Future of the gambling industry
Due to the indefinite halt of physical casinos, online gambling is projected to grow at twice the rate in the following years. It is uncertain whether land-based casinos will attract the same number of players once the pandemic clears out.
The businesses casinos rely on, such as hotels, tourism, and food and beverage industries have been severely affected by the economic effects brought by the continuous practice of quarantine by most countries. There are purists that will always prefer the physical casinos and the whole experience of gambling in Las Vegas with the whole entourage.
The reopening of these establishments may take more time. Meanwhile, online casinos have been proving to be a strong market even before, and its future only looks positive with its physical alternative in hibernation.
The pandemic has certainly brought a lot of industries to a halt, but it has also pushed industries to reshape. Accessibility and automation are some aspects that businesses strive to develop and implements because of recent events. More options for mobile transactions and faster processing are just several improvements that plenty sectors have and will benefit from.
The rise to more options for gambling online is something to be anticipated. With the new technology that keeps developing every year, the possibilities to the industry are endless. This may perhaps be the new norm to gambling, and the switch to online gaming may just be what will keep the industry alive and hopefully develop.