With the announcement that the English Premier League is due to return on 17th June, UK bookmakers will be jumping for a joy as sports betting will resume once more.
The halting of all professional sports leagues due to the coronavirus pandemic has enacted a major blow to the revenues of sports betting websites.
Football together with horse racing make up 75% of the UK sports betting market. In the year ending March 2019 sports betting earned bookmakers in the UK £1.4bn. Prominent bookmakers have already warned that this year’s profits will be far less due to the pandemic.
UK bookmakers have instead looked to fill the void left by football betting by opening markets on esports aka virtual sports. Unsurprisingly, these events have no where near the same betting appeal that football brings.
Virtual Formula One has been one moderate success story, however. In the absence of Formula One racing, many drivers as well as professional esports players have competed in virtual Formula One races which were streamed on the official Formula One YouTube channel.
Professional football in Germany has already resumed. The Bundesliga was one of the first major football leagues to resume competitively, albeit behind closed doors. Bundesliga betting has provided some much needed respite though for bookies.
The Premier League is by far the largest sports betting market in the world, though. 17th June will see Christmas come early for bookmakers in the UK.