With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, it’s had a large impact on live sports, causing the cancellations of the major leagues – NBA, MLB and NHL have all suspended their seasons due to the pandemic, causing a trickle down to the minor and feeder leagues.
For sports gamblers across Eastern Canada, this is disappointing news. Not only has the exciting U.S college basketball March Madness tournament also been suspended, but worldwide professional and semi-professional leagues are not available to bet on.
As we’ve previously mentioned – with self-isolation and quarantine being so widely practiced it’s only natural that gambling, online casinos and other vices will be more heavily indulged in.
eSports Betting Takes Off During COVID-19
One of the sports betting markets untouched by the global pandemic has been eSports. With many games like CS:GO, League of Legends and Rocket League being forced to move to online play, viewership numbers have been consistently higher and it’s likely this is reflecting itself in bookies being busier than ever.
Instead of gamers sitting beside each other in a studio environment, plastered with the logos of sponsors and after-match interviews, we’re seeing eSports organizations like Astralis keep their players in team facilities to make sure they don’t have ping or latency issues. While this isn’t always possible due to pre-existing travel schedules, we are at a point where in-person tournaments can be completed online with minimal interruption. This does keep some sponsor money flowing, and also keeps casinos and betting platforms open and operational.
Canadians are lucky in that online sports gambling is legal nation-wide and winnings aren’t taxed or legally required to be reported. Platforms like bet365 and betWay offer bonuses for deposits and allow players to stream the matches live within their apps so they can place bets seamlessly.
Typically the most common format is a best of three, with moneyline and prop betting available on each map as well as the entire series. For the more experienced gamer, bets can be placed on individual rounds, however a stream delay can make these less satisfying.
There are a few larger tournaments and leagues which have transferred their operations to purely online operations with a limited broadcast talent lineup.
CS:GO fans can still get their fill with ESL Pro League and Flashpoint Phase 1 ongoing and streaming daily.
DOTA2 fans can experience ESL One Los Angeles streaming live from their favourite platforms – minus the live experience. While this does obviously detract from the feeling of a big tournament, those who want the thrill of placing bets on their favourite teams can still get their fix.
League of Legend fans are also able to view the normal ongoing leagues like the Dutch Spring League Playoffs and the LCK Spring match still ongoing.
With many Eastern Canada casinos closed indefinitely, online casinos Canada and sports betting are only going to continue to see their traffic numbers rise with more idle and downtime on their hands.