Gambling Today: Is the Sports Gambling Market on Verge of Collapsing?

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Thanks to a report on SportsHandle.com, it appears a new threat to the world of sports betting has emerged.Sports Illustrated’s John Wall Street broke down this potential lethal knockout punch for sportsbooks on Monday.

While sports around the world will eventually return to action, SportsHandle reports that “a litany of major sportsbooks have experienced elevated player account withdrawals” over the last several weeks. As a result, there are now concerns that sports bettors won’t return at the same level when the games come back.

Potential losses, estimated to be in the billions, combined with a wave of withdrawals could further potentially cripple both capital and revenue streams moving forward. However, after reaching out to several Vegas sportsbooks sources, oddsmakers around the valley are optimistic they're going to be able to avoid this potential “doomsday scenario” in the Silver State.

The report in SportsHandle acknowledged what was reiterated to Sports Illustrated, “mobile betting did not exist in Nevada during the last financial crisis, even as the statewide handle remained above $2.5 billion in 2008. Once virus mitigation restrictions are eased or lifted, customers leery of entering a casino will be afforded the luxury of betting on sports from the comforts of their couch.”

As Wall Street pointed out, “of course, the cancellation of the NFL or college football season would almost certainly reverse that trend and could spark the nightmare outcome.”

Sportsbooks around the country saw a surge in betting handle thanks to the 2020 NFL Draft, however it appears the uncertainty of “when/if” sports leagues will return to action could be the catalyst for the surge of withdrawals following deposits prior to the draft.

As sportsbooks continue to open in states like Colorado, many are starting to wonder what lies ahead for the industry. The biggest issue will be if the sportsbooks will see “average bettors” jump back into the fray when the sports world reopens. Will those “average bettors” lay even $50 or $100 parlays on an NFL Sunday if the economic impact of the COVID-19 is still affecting the ability to pay the mortgage or put food on the table come September? Only time will tell.