From Football in Minsk to the top table of Masterchef, how gambling firms are adapting to handle the COVID-19 crisis

Due to pretty much every football league across the world being put on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has led to a massive surge in interest in the Belarusian Premier League. This is because Belarus is the only country that has not stopped major sporting events due to the virus. This comes as the country has not reported a single case of coronavirus and the President has said that if people ever did get it, they should visit the saunas and drink vodka to fight any infection.

Boost in Belarusian Premier League action

Due to the continuation of football in Belarus, it has led to wagering companies jumping on it like a lion jumps on a gazelle. You will also now find lots of blog posts offering tips and lots of match previews of games like BATE Borisov v Ruh Brest. You will also find tipsters offering you advice on who will score first in the Dinamo Minsk v Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino clash.

This has as you can expect kept brought in the money for gambling companies whilst the major leagues are on a break. This is not to suggest though that the Belarusian Premier League is the solution for companies to make money during the pandemic. What it does show is that when all other leagues get stopped and betting on a league that you may never have taken an interest in at the start of the year shows the commitment that people have to bet.

Australia leads the betting front

Australian bookmakers Tabcorp have also said that Russain Fiba 3×3 is the most popular sport amongst their betting community. They said that even though there was some interest in the sport because it was going to a part of the next Olympic Games, but the interest has shot up by 50% more than predicted. Tabcorp also have betting markets on reality tv shows like Masterchef which last year had bets totalling $1.3m. You could also bet on events like the Nobel Prizes and the Time Person/People of the year.

They have even opened markets for you to bet on the weather. All of the major UK betting companies have been taking bets on the results of the Quaren-team FIFA tournament to fill in the gap made by the lack of real UK sports.  

UK market trouble due to COVID-19

All this information may make it sound like the gambling and betting markets are still enjoying success in these difficult times.

The iconic horse racing newspaper, The Racing Post, has stopped production of its newspaper during the pandemic and is only producing a digital copy. This is because of the lack of events to write about. In its centrepiece article ‘what to watch on Saturday,’ it pointed to the Australian horse racing, The Belarusian Premier League and a re-run of the tv series Minder. The reason for including the TV show is that the actor in the lead role was a known fan of horse racing.

These are challenging times, and there is no end in sight at the moment, so there will be further tests for this industry to face in the coming months. UEFA have already postponed the European Championships and their premium club competitions Champions League and Europa League. The Tokyo Olympics have also been postponed, and the Premier League and EFL will soon be deciding whether or not this season will continue as well. This will be an ever-evolving story as the months go on and pandemic continues. 

 

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