The coronavirus pandemic brought challenges to every aspect of life as we know it. While the health and wellbeing of people are our primary concerns, there’s a secondary concern that will probably stick around with us long after a vaccine is produced. And no, this isn’t an article about climate change (although that is something that also needs addressing). What we’re referring to is the current state of the economy and the crippling recession that is to come. There isn’t a working sector that hasn’t been affected by the pandemic with physical IRL (an internet acronym for ‘in real life’) shops obviously taking the biggest hit. The general move towards digitalising our daily lives made it seem inevitable that physical retail and consumer experiences would become outmoded. Then it happened when lockdowns were enforced and everyone realized that they not only missed the IRL experience, but that it had a knock-on effect on online presences too.
Let’s take the bookmaking industry as an example. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, sporting bodies and government authorities began to ban crowds from attending sporting events. Games were initially played behind closed doors before the decision was made to cancel physical activities with close contact altogether to the intensification of the spread and the growing fear that created. With no fans, sporting institutions don’t make as much money. With no televised events (no income from broadcasters), those institutions are in big trouble. And with no sporting events to offer odds on, bookmakers were also, in turn, troubled.
It was time to be innovative. E-Sports (competitive video gaming) is one of the fastest-growing sports around and it could still be played from the safety of your own personal self-isolation chamber. Companies like Bet365 tried to cover as many e-sports markets as they could. Their cause was helped by a growing number of sportsmen taking an interest in competitive online gaming during this period of physical inactivity. The e-sports market was booming.
The other virtual sporting markets, such as horse racing, also received new fans. To some, this outlined the danger of punters becoming addicted to gambling. The idea is that having any sport to bet on is better than no sport at all. However, there were still sports taking place that were decided by the talent, fitness, and mental resilience of their competitors. Sports like ping pong had a whole new demographic of fans tuning in because the competitors could stay socially distant. Although football had largely stopped being played, smaller football countries saw this as an opportunity to put their leagues in the limelight (step forward, Belarus).
Unfortunately, the pandemic is nowhere near over. The severity of it will fluctuate according to the infection rate, it being the natural order of pandemics. While it will affect what we consider to be a normal life, sporting bodies appear to have found a rhythm and handling of the situation that shouldn’t be interfered with going forward, barring a dramatic turn of events. Bet365 now have a full range of markets available to bet on, including the Premier League, the NBA and the NFL. For an understanding of their latest promotions and bonuses, check out Sporty Trader’s review of Bet365 and their registration guide. Stay safe and enjoy the sports available.