Global gaming revenues continue to stumble through the COVID-19 era, with H2 Gambling Capital reporting that the industry earnings are down 26% in 2020.
Retail gambling revenues were hit hardest, as lockdowns and government mandated stay at home orders saw brick-and-mortar establishments take a 39% blow.
Wait… This Is Good News?
“Numbers don’t always tell the full story,” exclaimed Shadd Dales of the emerging financial market news site TheDalesReport. “The short term losses likely expedited both legislative and technological advances in the US in ways that suggests a strong short term and long term future for the business.”
When it comes to COVID-19’s impact, experts are placing land-based gambling alongside the auto and travel industries as areas most impacted by the pandemic.
Mobile wagering, subsequently, became the go-to option for those looking to get their action in. Where online wagering had generated 13% of the sector’s revenues just months ago, it has quickly narrowed the gap and now produces nearly 20% of all gambling revenue.
“Casino closures forced states to ease restrictions on in-person registration procedures, and also saw many states looking to adopt legislation to do so with a mobile-first approach.”
Dales added that this mobile movement now caters to products that are able to offer the strongest, most varied digital experience and that investors should closely monitor points where product updates and expansion coincide.
Per H2, this shift to the digital product places mobile sports betting alongside some of the highest performing verticals in the COVID-era, alongside telecomm, media, logistic groups and big tech.
US Gambling Market Reports Signal Strong Return
As one of the youngest market’s in the regulated sports betting space, the United States looks to be the first ‘mobile-first’ betting region. Where countries with more established markets have the pre-mobile infrastructures in place, Americans are placing over three quarters of their bets remotely.
These numbers come from the 19 states that currently offer some form of regulated sports betting, four of which don’t even offer mobile offerings to those within state lines.
The 2020 election cycle saw three more US states approve gambling legislation, meaning that over half of the country could soo have access to legalized sports betting.
US Betting Operators Report Record Handle
Where the industry had sustained losses throughout the sport-deprived summer months, September reportedly generated a record $2.9 billion in total handle. This is 75% up from 2019 and marks the highest single month performance seen in the US since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in early 2018.
Season cancellations and delays eventually led to September becoming one of the most active sporting months in recent history, and the conclusions of the NBA and NHL seasons paired with the NFL kickoff in a way that offered bettors numerous daily targets.
“Going forward, we can see that resilience playing out and we are now looking at the US as the world’s fastest growing sports betting market,” added David Henwood, Director of H2 Gambling Capital.
With regulated gambling only available to about 20% of the country’s population, it is easy to see why investors are so bullish on the market potential. Couple expansion with the eventual popularity of live, in-game wagering options, and deciding to invest in this market could be one of the safest bets on the board.