Life Without Sports - Coronavirus Losses Felt By BookmakersPublished April 5, 2020 by Sol FH
With virtually no sports in the world, bookmakers begin to feel the burn in the wake of COVID-19.
It has now been a few weeks since all major sports leagues canceled/postponed their seasons. The NHL, NBA, UEFA, FIFA, and every other professional league hunkering down, trying to figure out when and if they will be able to get back to business as usual, online bookmakers are feeling the economic burn due to the Coronavirus.
March Madness, one of the biggest annual sports events in the world was canceled a couple of weeks ago. To be clear, last year's tournament broke all betting on sports revenue records, with online bookmakers in Nevada winning more than $32.5 million on college basketball alone, with a total of $495 million in handle.
“There is no magic formula out there that we could put together that’s going to make up for March Madness,’’ Jay Kornegay, who oversees operations at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino related.
The NFL's Super Bowl generates more wagered money than any day in sports, but, the first four days of March Madness generate a whole lot more. “We certainly write more tickets on the first four days of the tournament than we do on the Super Bowl,’’ Kornegay continued.
Millions in Losses
Punters that still want to get in on the game, have been forced to look to sporting events that they wouldn't normally focus on. For example, one of the last events to take the main stage was a UFC fight night in Brazil, which had no fans in attendance and took place on March 21. Bookmakers around the world were able to capitalize on the event seeing increased betting from punters who traditionally bet on baseball, hockey, basketball, and top-flight soccer. Since the US announced that no more than 10 people could be together at the same time, Dana White, founder, and CEO of the UFC has decided to cancel the next three events.
Las Vegas is now a virtual ghost town with hotels, casinos and other businesses closing their doors for at least 30-days to help curb the spread of the virus. Wynn Resorts have temporarily closed its entire betting on sports wing.
Some bookmakers are now focusing on betting on sports futures to bring in new business but as the pandemic continues to spread, it's only a matter of time before more and more operators close up shop.