The entire planet is now talking about the infectious Coronavirus disease. COVID-19 virus is bringing life to a screeching halt as we all hold our breath to see what will happen next. The contagion of the planet has seemed to bring us to our knees.
The gambling community is used to risk – in fact it thrives off of the thrill of ‘the what if factor.’ But, this is different. This is a battle that the entire planet is in, and one that has the betting world putting all their cards in the pile that gives the best odds for a global recovery.
Casinos are closing doors for months
Every part of the betting community is feeling this. Businesses that normally rely on gamblers and depend on their funds in various ways are being impacted in an unprecedented way. US casinos are shut down from Las Vegas to New Orleans. This includes the hotel portfolios that house them.
As of March 2020, Caesars Entertainment has temporarily suspended operations of all of its Nevada hotel-casinos including:
- Caesars Palace
- Paris Las Vegas
- Harrah’s Las Vegas
- The Linq Hotel & Casino
- Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino
- Bally’s Las Vegas
- Flamingo Las Vegas
- Planet Hollywood
- The Cromwell
Without these venues the future of the betting world that hold a beautiful marriage with the hospitality industry in the United States continues to be in a murky state. This especially hits home for Las Vegas – the number one place in the world that is considered the mecca of gambler’s dreams of winning big.
As stated by The Los Angeles Times about the closures in Sin City that have never happened before in history to this magnitude, “The global coronavirus pandemic and rising cases in the U.S. have brought travel and tourism to a virtual standstill. But it is devastating for Las Vegas, where revenue from Strip properties alone amounts to $6.6 billion annually.”
Every corner of the world is feeling this impact
With that lose follows other big dollar dents across the 50 states. The move comes amid growing concerns about large public gatherings in the coming weeks and months. President Trump on Monday urged Americans to restrict their discretionary travel and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days. Worldwide the death toll has surpassed 10,000 and infections have topped 240,000, including 86,000 people who have recovered. This means things are cancelled. Things that normally have online betters excited.
Sports bets are all off for now due to COVID-19
Everything is on a holding pattern and wage makers have frozen their moves. Major League Baseball has cancelled the remainder of spring training games and has announced that the start of the 2020 regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks.
The national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the entire sports bard in fact.
The NBA suspended its season after a top player tested positive for COVID-19. The NHL, MLS, U.S. Soccer, and multiple tennis associations followed suit. NCAA has also canceled championships, including March Madness. With that goes the infamous bracket. Only time will tell what the future of the NFL will hold and how that will also effect online betting.
Currently, the NFL and betting community is looking at cards stacking up differently as NFL free agent deals were compromised as team doctors could not evaluate potential players due to coronavirus. The league released a statement on new off-season guidelines, which says, “NFL clubs may not bring any free agent player to a club facility or other location to meet with club personnel. Further, club personnel, including members of the club medical staff, may not travel to any location to meet with or conduct a medical examination of a free agent player.”
At the beginning of 2020 sports betting was on a huge surge and projected to be more popular than ever in the United States. The prior year betting revenue hit an all time high with record levels. More than $11 billion was spent on sports wagers in the country as the number of states legalizing sports betting expanded.
Back in 2018, the US Supreme Court decided to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This immediately gave every state in the country the ability to set its own laws on sports gambling. Several states (NJ, PA, Indiana etc.) almost immediately decided to legalize sports betting apps after PASPA was removed. The betting world was rejoicing, but now the sweet song heard by many has been silenced due to the pandemic crisis.
As sporting gatherings are shut down, so are many other things across the country facing undetermined schedules. The outlook on what will follow simply is full of nuances and uncertainty.
But, not all is defeated.
The mentality has taken an optimistic stance. Americans live by the motto of ‘better late than never.’ There is hope to be found in this sentiment. When the words come in an email or a website posting that a scheduled game or mass gathering has been ‘postponed’ rather than cancelled it brings forth joy that the future will be bright.
Hollywood is holding a wild deck of cards
A delay potentially salvages the all-important moment in history. The Cannes Film Festival recent announcement of delaying their event from May 12-23 to late June has Hollywood and the gambling community both equally talking. The annual French affair has always been a strong indicator of who creates buzz for betting on awards and accolades that are bestowed come the coveted awards season.
Millions of dollars are typically exchanged in online betting and in casinos over awards ceremonies including The Academy Awards. Cannes Film Festival has always jump started a wave of wagers on the likes of who will win Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Actress and more statutes.
Cannes Film Festival Betting Favorites 2020
The leading contender coming into Cannes this year was highly considered to be Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch.” Last year’s Palme d’Or winner “Parasite” went on to become the first non-English language picture to earn the Oscar’s top award, as well as some of the most interesting statistics for wage earners.
Oddsmakers who were allowed to bet in the states of New Jersey and Indiana initially had “1917” as the favorite film to win. Just hours before the awards show bettors took the legacy of Cannes and used the marker to place bets on the South Korean film instead. The odds were shortened from +450 to +150, and win the film took home in a shocking twist honored bettors who placed $100 bets on “Parasite” – they won $150 on the final odds. The upset was a plus for odds makers and part of the thrill of betting on Hollywood.
But with a potential of a cancelled Cannes Film Festival, where does that leave statistics for the upcoming year for bettors looking to take wagers on Hollywood and beyond? Only time will tell, especially as more events are added to the list of worldwide shutdowns and delays.
Beloved events are at risk including The Kentucky Derby
A big one to hit the betting world in America is the beloved Kentucky Derby. The 146th running that was to take place in May is now scheduled for the first Saturday in September on the 5th of the month. The late-summer Derby will mark the first delay in the race since 1945, when it was postponed to June during the waning months of World War II.
The race last year at Churchill Downs was full of incredible excitement for wagers when Country House won the Kentucky Derby at 65-1 odds after Maximum Security was disqualified. It was the first disqualification in the history of the Run for the Roses. But a delay of this magnitude is new territory.
The optimistic hope that the world can go on is still strong. But what will be next? What will be the subsequent event to follow on the chopping block or game that will be thrown on ice in this cruel game that COVID-19 is playing with us – will it be the Olympics?
Will the Olympics torch blow out or continue to flame?
On March 20, the coveted Olympic flame arrived in Japan from Greece. The scaled down ceremony took place amongst growing doubts that the scheduled Tokyo games will open as scheduled on July 24 due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The Japanese news agency Kyoto released a survey on Monday showing 69.9 percent of those questioned did not believe the Olympics will open as scheduled because of the virus.
Reported by Reuters in a statement by a member of the organizing committee’s executive board, “A delay of one or two years would be the ‘most feasible’ option if the Tokyo Olympics cannot be held this summer due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus.”
But the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, Haruyuki Takahashi, has also been said by Reuters to have not been fully backing a delay and saying, “that the financial damage from cancelling the Games or holding them without spectators would be too great, while a delay of less than a year would clash with other major professional sports schedules.”
Back in 2016 during the Summer Olympics betting markets were huge. It was then that Las Vegas sports books could accept bets on the games after being shuttered in 2001. The momentum had been building in casinos to bring in billion-dollar revenue. Will it hit the mark again?
So many things for the gambling community have been brought to a stop. Will it live on once again in America to have the freedom to bet if COVID-19 stops its vicious trail? Only time will tell. But the world is betting against this horrible monster. It is one odd that we are all backing on the good guys of the medical field to win and win big.