Gambling Today: Sports Gamblers Turned to Day-Trading During Coronavirus

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TV-G
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2:53

When the coronavirus shut down the world of sports, gamblers turned their attention to day trading on the stock market.

The NBA, NHL, MLB, and NCAA all postponed or canceled their season at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The lack of sports on TV left a major void for sports gamblers. Some sports bettors turned their attention to a different type of money-making platform, day trading on the stock market. Unfortunately, some quickly learned the hard way that betting on NFL games is an entirely different skillset than buying and selling stocks.

Sports Illustrated’s Frank Taddeo highlighted some of the pitfalls experienced by sports gamblers that dived into the stock market. Watch the above video with Taddeo and read the transcript below for his analysis on how sports gamblers tried taking their skills from the sportsbook to Wall Street.

Full Transcript Below:

Bill Enright: Ever since the world of sports came to a screeching halt during the coronavirus pandemic, sports gamblers have been turning their attention to day trading on the stock market. Will that trend continue? I bring on Frank Taddeo, fantasy and gambling analyst here at Sports Illustrated who is covering the world of day trading and sports gambling for his Gambling Today feature for Sports Illustrated, Frank, let's go over what you found.

Frank Taddeo: Yeah, Bill. Right now, sports bettors would typically be looking at Major League Baseball, regular-season games, as well as the NBA and NHL playoffs. However, over the past several months, due to the COVID-19 shutdown, with no major U.S. sports to wager on, many professional and recreational gamblers have turned their attention to the stock market. Analysts proclaim that a lack of pro sports betting and casino availability, as well as more time to watch the markets as well as stimulus checks, have all added to a rise in day trading during the pandemic. Sports gamblers looking for a thrill often found associated with the rush of hitting a five-team parlay are learning a hard lesson. Wall Street is harder to beat than the sportsbooks, Bill. The sports bettors in the world only win 55 percent of the time. Historically, day traders tend to lose at an even more staggering rate. And obviously, sports gamblers that really don't have much interest here or much background in it, that have now jumped in, are losing it at even more alarmingly higher rates. Dave Portnoy, founder and CEO of Barstool Sports, says he has dipped into the market to get a sense of competition and fill the void while pro games were on hold. But Portnoy, who has changed his company's daily gambling radio show on Sirius from Pick Central to Stocks Central, has taken an absolute beating. Back in April, he's on record as stating that his trading account was down to the tune of $647,000. Now, Bill, most of us don't have that kind of capital to lose, but it sends home the message that we all need to hear. Don't attempt to jump into sectors you're not familiar with, especially during a pandemic when you likely have a mortgage to pay. It takes a lot of time, Bill, and a lot of effort to pay attention all day to the market. I think there's going to be a natural decline once Americans return to their jobs and sports are back in action. Beating the sportsbook is a difficult endeavor, no doubt, Bill, but trading stocks in an even more volatile market than normal due to the pandemic has left bettors begging for their parlay cards over their E-Trade account passwords.

Bill Enright: Frank, thanks for that great report. Luckily, you only give out winners. You can find your picks by going through SI.com/gambling. And when it comes to the stock market, Jim Cramer is known for giving out plenty of winners. You could find in stock analysis at the Street.com. 

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