Sports Betting Trends In 2020

June 26, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Sports betting, specifically online sports betting, certainly has seen its fair share of changes and shake-ups over the course of recent years. It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when it wasn’t even legal to bet on sports events and outcomes, let alone the fact that betting on sports was only legitimised as recently as 2 years ago when the US Supreme Court finally abolished old and archaic laws governing wagers being bet on sports.

Interesting to note too is sports betting’s steady rise in popularity. Even in the face of absolute global heath disaster, US states are moving at a rapid pace to legalise betting on sports events. Washington state, for example, signed legalised sports betting into force as recently as last month, as did the state of Virginia.

Issues Around Black Markets

To date, approximately 20 states have hopped onto the legalised sports betting wagon. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that sports betting continues to trend in the way in which it has been doing and still is doing. Since the world finds itself poised at the very precipice of yet another looming global recession, governments are bound to try and suss out smart and creative ways in which to replace empty tax coffers.

An interesting trend, and one very much specifically prominent this year, is that despite governments looking about desperately for ways in which to create national wealth, regulators have no option but to keep bookmaker licensing fees as low as practically possible. A licence priced too high only leads to more operators falling back on a still-bustling black market.

The sports betting market is a market until very recently absolutely dominated by black market commercial players. Even though some relief has been witnessed since US legalisation, operators continue to reel under the pressure caused by black-market operator competition, low profit margins, and taxes payable in the face of their illegal counterparts having not nearly as much to worry about from a financial survival point of view. The fight against illegal bookmakers is far from over and a stepping up of regulations aimed at bringing down the illicit bookmaking house can be expected very soon – even to beyond the current year.

The single biggest lure of the underground betting world is that bettors are permitted to bet on credit. And it’s an amount that, even though sky-high, is probably still grossly underestimated. If a single hurdle is going to prove harrowingly difficult to overcome, then illegal credit granted by illegal bookmakers is going to be it.

The Prevalence Of eSports

eSports has become an unexpected ally to a temporarily struggling betting industry. With all major sports events cancelled and many more in all likelihood facing future cancellation, eSports has risen to the occasion in magnificent ways. More bookies now carry eSports bets and product lines than ever before in the history of either sports betting or competitive video games.

And judging by all that’s been happening in the booming eSports market world-wide, it isn’t about to witness a decline any time soon – if at all.

Intelligent Technology

Another trend we’re about to witness is how the rise of intelligent technology is about to affect the way in which we not only wager bets, but also the types of bets we can expect to see in future.

Bettors are for the first time ever able to wager in real-time. And while this is an exciting new boost to the industry in general, it’s a growing trend not without its own dilemmas and challenges.

2020 is as exciting a year for sports betting as what its probably going to get and its going to be interesting to see how each trend plays out – or doesn’t.

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