During the start of the pandemic almost eighteen months ago, many sports betting services found themselves in a difficult period of time as the cancellation and postponements of the biggest sporting events in the world led to a lack of options for many and the increasing success for alternative services particularly with the likes of online casinos as here are some of the biggest that accept bitcoin. As sporting events returned however, so did the demand for sports betting options, but with a major difference for many – the closure of brick-and-mortar betting locations.
For some the closures were almost inevitable, the huge shift towards online platforms has left a much more niche audience to be the type to physically go to an offline location to place a wager, and often only for certain events as horse racing had remained the biggest, but all of the flexibility that online platforms bring outweighs the need for the offline locations, and given there’s coverage for just as many sporting options and many more too, it’s an easy change to make that would suggest the change won’t hurt sports betting at all.
Given this changed has largely happened in countries with legalised and easy to access online sports betting options like the UK too, it’s unlikely to have a big impact on those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to bet without the physical locations, but it does raise some questions for countries or states throughout the US in particular where legal sports betting is only permitted at physical locations, potential change could hurt there if it’s something that continues to spread. It does promote and legitimise the use of online services, however, so also may encourage legislation change in locations that current don’t have full options for online betting across multiple sports.
Perhaps the one big drawback is simply within the sign of change, many punters would have grown up with betting shops and have that be a big part of the experience with betting, and other suggestions have pointed towards the fact it may promote other gambling habits particularly amongst younger players too as it becomes more normalised to use apps and other online services for sports betting too. It’s something that will certainly be explored in the near future as the full impact of a primarily online change is still being discovered and explored.
Ultimately, the closure of betting shops will only help sports betting given how popular online services are, but they’re something that many individuals will miss as it goes, and something many would deem to be an almost integral part of their experience which certainly will take away some of the enjoyment as the social environment is no longer present.