NJ sports bettors face a continuing problem; the sports world has been severely impacted by the pandemic shutdowns, with the most live sports events postponed or canceled.
While many sports events have now resumed, it’s only on the condition that the stadiums remain empty, to comply with state-mandated social distancing recommendations.
This is a problem for both players and team owners, since stadiums that should hold tens of thousands of paying fans are empty, resulting in millions in lost revenue. Also, without the fans cheering their teams on, games seem like little more than practice.
The question for NJ sports bettors is, how will this state of never-ending shutdowns impact sports betting? This is also a question for sports bettors nationwide.
A Continuing Problem for NJ Sports Bettors
Sports betting has only been legal in the United States for a few years. However, sports betting is quickly becoming legal all across the USA, including Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Oregon, Tennessee, and other states.
This is great news for NJ sports bettors who want to enjoy betting on their NFL favorite team from the comfort of their home. Unfortunately, the government restrictions involving the coronavirus has complicated things for the sports betting industry.
Now that pro-league games have resumed in empty stadiums, it’s arguable that the fan enthusiasm that makes live sports so exciting has been extinguished.
Just a few months ago, experts had predicted that the sports betting market could generate $8 billion annually within the next five-years. So the empty stadiums are certainly something to consider, at least in the short term.
Online Sports Betting Could Benefit
The flip side of the COVID-19 shutdowns, and social distancing mandates that are yet to be lifted, is that the situation could drive NJ sports bettors, and those around the country, online.
Sports fans who miss the thrill of being in the stands, cheering on their favorite team, will look for ways to recreate some of that action in the privacy of their homes.
Online sports betting could fill that gap, and the potential for both casinos and bookmakers to build a relationship with a new section of sports fans is profound.
Taking the Bull by the Horns
There is little doubt that online sports betting operators are very aware of both the challenges as well as the opportunities they face in this weird new world of empty stadiums. It remains to be seen which online sportsbooks are bold enough to take advantage of the situation.
Sports fans may not be able to sit in the stadiums themselves, but NJ sports bettors, and those nationwide, can gain a degree of excitement through online sports betting with their friends.
This is already a strong trend in other parts of the world where sports betting is well established.
For example, in the UK, the Premier League restarted their season back in June. A large number of UK bookmakers, such as William Hill, doubled their effort to attract new sports bettors with promotional bonuses and free bets for signing up. Some of the promotions included money-back deals that effectively meant free bets.
It can still be debated whether or not the empty stadiums have sucked the fun out of sports, but there is clearly a desire for sports betting in NJ, and elsewhere. It seems likely that NJ sports bettors will keep betting on not only the NFL, NBA or MLB, but also on Korean baseball and Russian ping-pong matches.
The market for sports betting in the United States will ultimately prove to be resilient, despite empty stadiums.