The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the almost complete cessation of major sports and a resultant huge disruption in sports betting. As a consequence, there have been changes in the sports betting markets, both legal and illegal, that will have a longer-term impact on sports betting. The pandemic has resulted in:
- A major increase in betting via online legal and illegal betting websites, with more betting operators taking bets on horse racing.
- Major Asian illegal betting exchanges are adding more customers and more revenue during the pandemic.
- Online customer growth is expanding even further and “will be similar to the Big Bang” in the City of London financial market deregulation according to one experienced professional bettor.
- Professional betting is becoming corporatised as sports betting becomes a commoditised investment that some investors are adding to their portfolios.
The disruption to sports and legal betting caused by the pandemic has resulted in an opportunity for the illegal betting industry to fill gaps left by the legal market. This opportunity has been enhanced by the huge number of customers staying at home in many countries due to the restrictions on movement imposed by governments. These betting customers have disposable income from prior salaries or available credit cards and desire more betting entertainment during their enforced confinements.