The global spread of COVID-19 has left consequences on many industries, including online sports betting. After a few quiet months without any matches, it was difficult to predict how the betting industry would recover. With many sports events back in action and scheduled to resume sometime soon, the sports betting industry is expected to hit an all-time high.
The reasoning behind that is simple — sports betting enthusiasts are longing for some action. Bettors lost out on many long-awaited sporting events, such as the 2020 Olympic Games, NFL preseason traditions, NCAA championship tournaments, the MLB, and many others.
As many of the postponed matches took place at the end of 2020, and many more are scheduled to be played shortly, the online sports betting industry is thriving.
Pent Up Demand
It comes as no surprise that sports betting will hit an all-time high as most major sports events resume due to built-up demand that will only magnify each game’s significance. The king, NFL, has found its way back to the hearts of its many adoring fans despite a late start. Not only is sports betting a positive distraction with everything that is going on in the world, but people are enjoying betting on sports, even those that haven’t tried it before.
Unsurprisingly, new records were set all around the world. For example, New Jersey has witnessed an increase in sports bets, especially on the NHL and NBA playoffs. The state has set a record for betting in one month, with $668 million taken in wagers in August 2020. With this, NJ broke the previous record set by Las Vegas in 2019 when sportsbooks took $614.5 million in bets.
Cases such as this one are bound to continue happening in other states and countries as well. It is difficult to accurately predict how the pent-up demand will translate to the sports betting industry. Still, we can say with certainty that online betting has surpassed all expectations.
Although online sports betting has made its mark on the sports industry this year, it could not have done so without the help of mobile betting applications and mobile-optimized websites. More bettors are opting for mobile betting due to its convenience and easy access.
This is hardly a surprise, as people are seldom without their smartphones these days. It’s in your hand daily, whether you’re grabbing a coffee or walking your dog — and sportsbooks are only a few screen taps away. This form of NFL betting trumps computer betting or waiting in line to place a bet in person.
With the global pandemic in session, the use of mobile betting apps has increased. Previous information shows that mobile betting has taken around 50% of all online sports betting. The numbers are slightly higher these days as between 65% to 70% of the money comes from mobile betting applications.
Ultimately, mobile betting applications have nothing to worry about. As long as there are sports, there will be a use for betting apps.
New Sportsbook Records
Since the legality of sports betting is still rough around the edges in Canada, Canadian bettors typically opt for offshore betting, similarly to their American neighbours. With that in mind, sports betting boomed in August 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. Only in August 2020, sports bettors wagered around $2.1 billion — an ultimate monthly record. Only sportsbooks generated $119.4 million, but that was not the highest monthly wagered sum in 2020. January was a bit more successful at $138 million.
Ultimately, when comparing August 2020 with August 2019, you will see a 90.2% increase in sports betting. Keep in mind that these August numbers do not account for all states, as several released their statistics later in the year.
Overall, sports betting revenues in the first two quarters of 2020 were up 31.5% compared to the same six months in 2019. The handle was up 24.1%. It might sound unbelievable, but it is actually not surprising — online betting accounts for around 80% of revenue in mature markets.
As you probably could predict, the NBA, NHL, and NFL are three of the most-viewed leagues and some of the most popular sporting events worldwide. These leagues have been historically the most lucrative sporting events for sportsbooks all over the world, but especially in the USA and Canada. Those three helped online sports betting markets reach all-time highs during this unique year.