Betting with No Sports: Where the Money’s at

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There has been a slight rebound in Europe’s Q3 gambling industry projection following news of the possible reopening of sporting events this June.

Experts now predict the gross gaming revenue in the Asia/Oceania region to climb to 22.8% in the first week of June, a little higher than the previous weeks’ 23. 1%. The strengthening of Chinese and Japanese betting data was the most significant contributor to the adjustment.

Across Europe, Netherlands is leading the pack in the list of countries reopening casinos and arcades. Recently the UK has announced the possible reopening of betting shops and the kick-off of EPL by June 17th.

With brick and mortar gaming premises reopening, there is expected to be a steady rise in the gross retail win in the second half of the year.

However, much of it depends on the successes of the pandemic prevention measures and future prevention strategies.

The Best Case Scenario

Even with this glimmer of hope in Europe’s gaming market, overall betting numbers across the globe have dropped to  $1bn in the past week.

Analysts note that with the re-emergence of infection rates in S. Korea after a few weeks of reopening, the expectations represented in the earlier seen numbers could be for the very best-case scenario.

Europe’s gambling industry reported mixed results last year, with the casino segment still generating a big share of the gross gaming revenue after sports betting.

Even so, online gaming has been on a steady rise, and we can only expect it to be more popular in the post-pandemic world. The Lottery has been another significant part of Europe’s gaming industry, making up 12.6 % of the total revenue generated in 2018.

Online is the Future

The postponement of sports events and their canceling at the onset of the pandemic dealt a significant blow to Europe’s gaming industry.

While the numbers took a dive on this side of things, data shows that a surge in internet gaming activities since the lockdown took effect in many European nations.

Despite the closure of slot machines and casinos, experts believe that digital draw based gaming operators can expect stable sales in the coming months.

Scratch cards are on the rise, and many lottery campaigns are back and focused on supporting the health sector and the at-risk individuals in the communities.

The North-Side Divide

Nevertheless, there is a growing north-side divide in the overall impact of the gaming business. The southern countries of Northern Europe now have a declining share of online lottery and brick and mortar casino sales.

The gaming business in this part of the continent has been hit harder than in central Europe, for instance, where the online share has had an upsurge, and physical retail closed only but partially.

The Lottery still holds steady

Even with big losses reported, jackpots are not getting any smaller when it comes to Euro-millions, US lotteries like Mega Millions, and other international lotto games.

That has attracted even the new and occasional players to dive in. The future will likely remain the same, even after the pandemic.

The new numbers of online lottery gamers will remain untouched even as other gamers go back to physical retail, especially those needing to hang out and socialize.

The Dilemma of Casinos and Social Distancing

One can say that the biggest challenge for the lottery market now is to reopen while protecting customers. In Austria, where the pandemic’s impact has been lower than many other parts of Europe, gaming operators are already set to reopen premises before June.

Casinos Austria is one example of a gaming franchise that announced earlier in the week of their immediate reopening. Even so, details are scanty on just how the casinos will operate with social distancing rules for customers and safety for staff.

ESports and New Regulations

On sports betting, the cancellation of football and other sporting events has given virtual betting a new lease of life in countries like Finland. The result has been drastic changes in gaming behaviors.

Esports are rated to be twice as engaging as live betting. There is a danger of addiction: countries like Belgium and Spain have spotted these early and placed caps on esports gaming amounts.

The Belgian betting authority has instituted a deposit limit of €500 a week on the country’s hosted gaming sites. Spain has established similar restrictions that focus on time.

Online gaming is only now permitted between 1 pm, and 5 am. On the other hand, the Latvia government has banned online gaming until after the pandemic.

Skill-based games like backgammon and poker are reigning supreme at this time, even as many countries make zero or only small changes to their gaming regulations.

There could be a few horse racing events in Belarus or Bundesliga weekend games, but none of that now beats the appeal of virtual matches and big lottery jackpots.

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