The global outbreak of novel coronavirus Covid-19 is continuing to disrupt and affect casino and sports betting markets across the globe. A number of important sports events have also been suspended or postponed in a bid to limit the spread of the virus.
The English Premier League has cancelled all of its games until 3 April following Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive test results for Covid-19. The full Everton squad has also opted for self-isolation after one of its players reported systems consistent with the coronavirus.
On March 12, 2020, the Premier League announced that all of its matches would steam ahead as per previous plans. However, the League later revealed that it was reconsidering its decision.
Meanwhile, the English Football League (which manages the 3 divisions below the Premier League) has also suspended its events until April 3. The Women’s Super League and the FA Cup have also been postponed until that date. England’s national team friendly games against Denmark and Italy have also been halted for now.
Even UEFA, Europe’s football governing organisation, has announced that its Champions League and Europa League matches have been postponed, as have the draws for the next round of games in both contests. Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, the Scottish Football Association and France’s Ligue 1 have also followed suit. Germany’s Bundesliga games are on hold until April 2.
Elsewhere, the National Hockey League (NHL) has become one of the latest pro sports competitions in North America to suspend its season in light of Covid-19. The decision has been supported by the NHL Players Association, the NBA, and Major League Soccer. The US National Collegiate Athletic Association has cancelled its Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball events, along with all remaining winter and spring NCAA contests.
On the other end of the world, the Formula 1 has suspended its season-starting Australian Grand Prix as drivers and team members have raised health concerns. McLaren had already withdrawn from the event after a member tested positive for Covid-19. Online betting is seemingly the way to go at the moment!
The virus has heavily impacted regional gambling markets around the world. This is especially true for Italy, where nationwide lock-down closed all retail betting shops. Newgioco has warned about shop closures impacting its revenues, while Playtech has also closed its Snaitech stores to comply with the lockdown.
Holland Casino has closed all of its 14 facilities in the Netherlands, while Belgium is closing all of its casinos, gaming halls, cafes and betting shops until after April 4. In America, Boyd Gaming has closed its Valley Forge Casino Resort until at least March 27, and most of the Vegas casinos on the Strip are closing or implementing strict hyenine practises to deal with the pandemic. In Canada, BC and Ontario casinos have been closed, and the OLG and GCGC have both chosen to close several of their venues. As more and more positive diagnosis emerge, an increasing number of casinos look set to close their doors too.