The coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping across the world has shut down most of the major sporting events for the foreseeable future. The COVID-19 virus has also forced almost 100% of all casinos, sportsbooks, and cardrooms to be shut down in the United States as well.
Online sportsbooks across the country have attempted to stay open, but they are running out of betting options to offer to their customers.
Las Vegas Feeling The Effects
The biggest city that has seen and felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic is Las Vegas. The gambling headquarters of the United States is completely shut down for at least 30 days, and there is a chance that the shutdown could last even longer.
Casinos in other parts of the country have been forced to close as well, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put a limit on the number of people that can gather in one place.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the shutdown of all casino properties in the state, and the Las Vegas strip now looks like a ghost town. One of the most popular tourist towns in the world is without visitors, and their economy is taking a huge hit from the closure of all casinos and card rooms.
Most casino properties had already begun to discuss closure before the official word came from the Governor, while others were limiting the number of games that were offered in an attempt to stay open.
The Seminole Tribe in Florida was one of the last groups to keep their casinos open to the general public. The six Hard Rock Casino locations throughout the state had eliminated most table games to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but they were still offering slot machines and other games to remain open.
A decision was made earlier this week to close the casinos to comply with state laws.
There are close to 1,000 casinos throughout the United States, and as of Wednesday, 98% of them had shut down for good. This leaves some 645,000 casino workers without a job, and there is no end date in sight.
Major companies in the gambling industry are looking to the federal government for help, and lawmakers are hoping to give some financial aid to help out with the financial crisis.
Online Sportsbooks Looking into Obscure Sports, Esports
Online sportsbooks have been able to stay open, but their business has gone down significantly over the last few weeks. The shutdown of sports means that sportsbooks simply don’t have any bets to offer, but they are trying to combat that problem by looking into other betting markets.
Esports is one option that online sportsbooks have looked into of late, and bookmakers are also scouring the globe looking for any sports that are still being played.
Rugby and soccer are continuing to be played in the country of Australia, although on a much more limited basis. Some online sportsbooks already feature these two leagues as a normal part of their operations, while others are trying to catch up in a hurry.
Australia has been able to keep the spread of the coronavirus to a minimum at this time, but there is always a chance that their two biggest leagues could be put on hold as well.
League of Legends and CS:GO are two of the most popular online games that are played throughout the world, and they are still being played today. Esports allows competition to take place virtually, meaning that there is no chance of spreading the disease.
Most states have prohibited sportsbooks from taking bets on esports in the past, but that is starting to change as sportsbooks are desperate for business.