As the novel Coronavirus shut major sporting leagues around the world, crushing the sports betting industry in the process, bookmakers and casinos were left searching for an alternate revenue source. With major tournaments like the NFL, NBA, and the NHL standing cancelled or postponed for the year, finances were not looking great.
The pace started picking up in June as lockdown and travel bans slowly lifted, helping industries get back up on their feet. And this is evident from a 138% increase in sports betting revenue in July. According to figures announced by the Indiana Gaming Commission, total iGaming revenue jumped to $70.9 million in July, compared to $29.8 million in June 2020.
The Story So Far
Despite the NHL and the NBA being crowd favorites, NFL accounts for a major portion of the U.S annual sports wager, especially with BetOnline. With Week 1 of the NFL in full effect, the spirit of betting bonanza is back. The first match between college football teams took off this week, marking the beginning of the 2020 football season.
Even though the NBA and NHL playoffs were scheduled on the same days, along with the U.S Open Men’s Finals, NASCAR, and UFC, nothing quite matched up to the hype around NFL. It’s no surprise football is among the most popular American sports, and fans were anticipating its return during the first week of September. However, no one expected this huge surge in sports betting activity in the very first week after reopening.
With the ever-rising hype around the NFL, the question now remains whether the event will take the shine off other popular leagues this season like the NBA or the NHL. Especially since some heavy betting usually occurs at the NBA finals and the Stanley Cup Finals. In fact, sports betting in Pennsylvania is heavily reliant on these events.
Although no one can say for sure, experts believe the NFL will hold the edge this year, while wagering continues to flourish in other major leagues. Especially since the NHL is played on Sundays, while football is played on Saturdays. Thus, avoiding any direct conflict with the dates.
Yes, there is a Thursday night game and a Monday night match, but the pro hockey and basketball calendar this year doesn’t collide with the football schedule. The NBA and NHL also have a way to move their games outside primetime TV slots, as to avoid any direct confrontation with the major college football league.
The American sports betting community suffered major losses as the industry shut down overnight in March. With major events like March Madness being cancelled, the American Gaming Association projected $8.5 billion in losses. However, with the return of major league football, the AGA estimates a 29% increase in the number of bets placed on NFL this season compared to last year. But will it be enough to cover the losses suffered during the prime months of 2020? There’s just one way to find out! And we all just have to be a little more patient.