How Much Did the Best Sports Betting Sites Make During the Bookie Closures?

It goes without saying that sports betting is a very huge deal in all parts of the world. It is, without a doubt, one of the most vibrant industries on the planet with millions of participants and a plethora of operators. This, essentially, makes it one of the biggest revenue generators in existence, something that can easily be proven by all of the revenue statistics.

In the United States, for instance, the legal and regulated sports betting industry is just a little over a couple of years old but it has already brought in billions in revenue. The earnings were so good that even more states are considering the legalization of sports betting and more operators are making plans to venture into various regulated jurisdictions in the country.

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Online sports betting, which is technically a sub-sector of the wider sports betting sector has been all the buzz of late. This was a rather natural course for the industry especially considering the proliferation of mobile technology. More people place bets on sports betting sites than ever before and for a very considerable period, it seemed like things were only going to get better, that is until the sector hit a roadblock.

COVID-19 and the Closures
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on just about every industry on the planet. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or the other. Given its nature, the closure of both social and entertainment venues was a no brainer. Several governments and local authorities called for such moves and it is not surprising that the sporting industry, and by extension, the sports betting sector took a hit due to this.

Sporting activities have remained non-existent for a better part of the closures, something that affected many other related activities. Retail sportsbooks were already set to take a hit as all land-based gambling destinations became no-go zones. Besides, if no sporting activities are taking place, the operators do not have anything to offer odds on.

According to experts, during the lockdown, the sports betting industry is set to lose up to $43 billion or more by the time the pandemic comes to an end. By taking these losses into account, we might be able to see just how devastating the coronavirus pandemic has been to businesses across the globe.

The Impact on Online Sports Betting
Retail gambling may have taken quite a hit due to the pandemic but this is not necessarily true for all the sectors. Case in point, online casino traffic increased significantly during the lockdown. Online sports betting, on the other hand, turned out to be a totally different ball game.

Due to the lack of physical or traditional sporting activities, online sportsbooks fell into the same predicament as their retail counterparts. There were attempts to bring back sporting activities to some extent but these efforts are pretty slow, to say the least.

Still, it is very commendable that quite a number of sports betting sites were still able to make some money during the lockdown. However, there is so much more to this and to truly understand how much they made, we need to look into how the survived.

Alternative Betting Options and Emerging Markets
As stated above, truly understanding how the best sports betting sites managed to make money will require us to look into the value of the sectors they ventured into. These can essentially be categorized either under alternative sporting options as well as emerging markets.

When speaking of alternative betting options, the first thing that comes to mind is virtual sporting activities. Fantasy sports betting, for instance, became even more popular during the lockdown. Even prior to that, the space was pretty lucrative which means that established operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel made a killing off of it due to increased traffic.

Emerging betting markets for sports betting operators, on the other hand, refers to one particular industry in this case – esports. The sector has been growing very rapidly over the past few years and the lockdown gave it an opportunity to show its might even further. It received a huge boost and this was a great anchor for the sports betting industry. The ones that were smart enough to offer odds on esports have been able to bring in revenue from the sector and will continue to do so even once everything gets back to normal.

So, How Much Did the Best Sites Actually Make?
Since opinions on which sportsbooks are best can be subjective, we can only mention figures on the sites we interacted with. Lots of the popular retail sportsbook operators have moved to the online space but not all of them had an easy time during the lockdown. To put this into context big gambling brands including GVC Holdings, 888 Holdings, William, Betfred, Bet365, and Flutter Entertainment all recorded share drops during the pandemic. Investors were not too convinced of returns.

Other operators like DraftKings which is arguably one of the biggest names in sports betting and fantasy sports made a whopping $70.9 million in the second quarter of the year. In fact, this was an increase of over 24 percent compared to what the company recorded during the same period in the previous year. FanDuel, DraftKings' biggest competitor reiterated pretty high expectations for 2020 despite the lockdown.

There were lots of losers but there were also some pretty impressive wins. More importantly, it has served as a big lesson for the industry with regards to the importance of the online sports betting sector as well as virtual sports and the rapidly growing esports sector.

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