Even though online casinos and online sportsbooks have remained open during the Coronavirus pandemic, online casinos have not been as busy as expected. A new study shows that customers have stayed away from betting at online casinos even though the pandemic has shut down most live sports around the world.
The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction recently published a study that highlights this, and the results were surprising, especially during the pandemic. The title of the study was Gambling Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among European Regular Sports Bettors: An Empirical Study Using Behavioral Tracking Data, and it found no correlation between online sports bettors and online casinos.
Online casinos were expecting a major boost in business during the shutdown of live sports, but that simply wasn’t the case. The iGaming company that was used for this study was not identified, but they are a leader in Europe.
More than 5,000 sports bettors were used as a part of this study, and the company chose bettors that were active before the pandemic hit. Each bettor had made at least one sports wager in five of the 10 calendar weeks from the beginning of 2020 through March 7.
Researchers then looked at the amount of money that these online sports bettors spent at the online casinos, and the numbers were startling. Bettors actually bet less at online casinos since the pandemic hit, rather than take their betting to a different industry.
Internet slots and online table games have continued to operate through the pandemic, but they did not receive extra business from sports bettors. Not only did sports bettors spend less money at online casinos, but they also spent less money betting on sports.
Revival Of Sports Betting?
The lack of live sporting events around the world could have played a role in bettors not placing bets on sports, but it doesn’t explain the lack of online gambling at the casinos. Major sports around the world are starting to resume, and that should bring new life into the sports betting industry.
The 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Tokyo were postponed earlier this year, and major championships in golf and tennis were also canceled. The Wimbledon Championships were canceled for the first time since World War II, and the Open Championship was also canceled this summer.
Online sportsbooks have had to search to find events to offer bets to their customers. Sportsbooks in the United States have turned to international sports as well as offering bets on obscure sporting events.
Table tennis has been one of the biggest new sports that is being offered by sportsbooks, and virtual and esports have started to be offered as well. NASCAR actually had their drivers compete in a virtual racing series while live races were shut down during the pandemic.
William Hill, one of the biggest online sportsbook operators in the United States, has seen a major decline in business since the pandemic hit. A spokesperson for William Hill estimated that revenues had plunged close to 90 percent since mid-March.
William Hill operates a sportsbook in nine different states throughout the country, with its main location being in Las Vegas.
Casinos in Las Vegas have started to reopen as well, and the same can be said for casinos throughout the United States. Business is expected to rebound over the next few months, but casinos will be unable to make up for lost revenue.
Online sportsbooks are starting to see more business as well, and bettors should have plenty of extra money to wager since they haven’t spent it at the casinos over the last 10 weeks.