When this year started, many experts believed 2020 would provide great for the US sports betting industry. A handful of states had already legalized full-scale betting and more states were expected to do the same this year.
Sports betting legalization is still ongoing. But the industry is yet to recover from the damage done by COVID-19. For many brick and mortar betting shops, the Coronavirus pandemic brought about unimagined losses and forced some bookie shops to shut down.
On the Internet, things weren’t exactly perfect for betting websites but many of them survived. And amid all these problems, the US sports betting industry evolved in some ways. Here’s what we mean.
Before the pandemic, Las Vegas was still the home of sports betting. It didn’t matter that some states had already legalized mobile betting. Thousands of Americans would drive and fly to Sin City every weekend to wager on sports.
During Coronavirus, though, Americans embraced online betting. Punters in Nevada replaced Caesars Palace with Caesars online. Those in Atlantic City reduced their visits to Borgata and Hard Rock casinos for online betting sessions.
That said, convenience isn’t the only reason why mobile betting is getting popular in the US. Betting on a smartphone is practical, simple and efficient. Mobile devices are also portable, which makes it easy to gamble wherever you go.
Where online betting isn’t yet legal, punters have been gambling at out of state websites. Some of these companies are located in South America and Europe. But they accept bets from the US nonetheless.
Full List of Legal US Sports Betting States
The number of states with legal sports gambling keeps rising. Most of these jurisdictions commenced plans to legalize the sector last year and are only finalizing it in 2020. However, some states are only allowing betting after benchmarking its success in New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
That’s alright. It doesn’t matter why they do it. Many sports bettors just want their states to legalize the industry. You can keep up sports betting legalization from betting.us. And while there, you can also find out whether you can wager at out of state sportsbooks.
Betting on Foreign Sports
For a long time, the most wagered sports in the US were American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. Since the pandemic hit, though, bookmakers have been scattering for betting odds from all over the world.
In other words, the pandemic proved that Americans can also wager on foreign sports, from Belarusian and Mexican soccer to Ukrainian table tennis and baseball in Nicaragua. As mentioned, punters didn’t have many choices this year.
With COVID-19 in full swing, bookmakers provided anything and everything available for betting. Some sites let people bet on weather changes. Others got political or introduced eSports.
The Rise of Virtual Sports
Virtual sports are pretty common in many parts of the world. But they weren’t as popular in the US until the pandemic hit. They probably wouldn’t be popular if sports leagues weren’t canceled.
But after Coronavirus forced sports leagues to cancel games, bookmakers created virtual sports for their customers. And as it turned out, it wasn’t a bad idea. Nearly every betting website in the US provides virtual sports.
For the uninitiated, virtual sports are games of luck inspired by real-world sports. Imagine a basketball game between the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat. It could feature the same names or fictional characters. And it follows the same rules.
However, a virtual sports game lasts a few minutes. And the winner is determined by RNG software. As a result, whether you win or lose is purely luck-based. It’s not an appealing option for experienced punter. But it’s a fun way to kill time, especially when there are not alternatives.
Fostering a Relationship with Casinos
The sports betting industry has always intermarried with the casino sector. But never has that marriage come in handy. Usually, sportsbooks add a casino lobby to supplement their income.
This year, however, betting websites relied on their casinos to survive. You see, online casinos were never affected by the pandemic. Unlike bookies, their games were not shut for any reason. And they didn’t have to furlough their employees.
Instead, online casinos grew in popularity immediately sports got canceled. People wanted an escape from the virus rampaging the world. And online casinos provided an excellent escape place.
To make things better, they are simple to play. They come in a huge variety and you can bet for cheap. From slots and poker to bingo and blackjack, most of these games have low and high limits.
So, a game you wanted to bet on just begun? No worries: you can bet any moment before it’s over. Odds change pretty fast. And live-action ensures that every moment matters. The best part, though, is that you don’t need a lot of research.
If you’re watching a game, you’ll know everything you need to be in a live game. Sometimes being a fan of the sport can give you an edge. But it’s possible for someone with little knowledge of soccer or basketball to pick a winner based on half-time scores.
Unlike pre-match betting, in-play betting is pretty exciting. You’re forced to watch every minute of them all while hoping everything goes according to your plans. And if you’re lucky, you can win and cash out even before a game is over.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
DFS is pretty much part of the US sports betting industry. And COVID-19 only made the sport more popular. Sure, people weren’t drafting teams with no sports action on TV. But when the sports league resumed action, DFS became even more popular.
The assumption is that a significant number of American sports bettors prefer DFS to regular sports betting. It’s cheaper in many cases. And it’s exciting in a unique way. Additionally, Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in nearly every state, even in jurisdictions where sports betting isn’t allowed.