What Can You Still Bet On During The Coronavirus Sports Shutdown?
The Coronavirus is a serious topic that is leading to people losing their lives all around the world. It is important not to take it lightly, with everyone having a responsibility to try to limit its spread wherever possible. Even if you’re fit and healthy, plenty of other people aren’t and can find themselves seriously ill if they get the virus, so think of them wherever possible.
Whilst the seriousness of the Coronavirus shouldn’t be underestimated, there’s also the reality that life has to carry on as close to normal as possible. One of those things involves people looking to place bets on sporting events, but that’s currently easier said than done. Many sports have ground to a halt because of the pandemic, so which ones can you bet on?
Below is a list of sports and non-sports still available, further down you can find offers still available that can be used to bet on sports and events still happening, these will be updated daily while the crisis continues. (begambleawere, all offers 18+, terms and conditions apply).
Sports and Events On Today, Saturday 28th March
- North American Racing – 8 meetings (78 races)
- ROTW – 5 meetings (58 races)
- Australia & NZ – 15 meetings (117 races)
- 38 Club Friendlies Matches
- 8 Belarus League Matches
- 10 Burundi League Matches
- 7 Nicaragua Matches
- 1 Swedish Match
- 2 US Meetings
- 6 Australia & NZ Meetings
- 4 matches, various leagues
- 3 Leagues & Series (> 100 matches)
- UFC 249 – 4 fights 19th April including Khabib Nurmagomedov v Tony Ferguson.
- 70 matches, CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, King of Glory, Starcraft, Rocket League, #UltimateQuaranTeam – FIFA20 Tournament
- 4 matches
- IPL due to start 15th April ante-post betting available
- Virtual Sports
Betting Offers That Can Still Be Used
Why Have Sports Been Cancelled?
Different sports have reacted to the Coronavirus crisis in different ways. In the world of horse racing, for example, races were still carrying on but with meetings moved behind closed doors. This is because the participants don’t actually come into particularly close contact with each other, therefore limiting the likelihood of the virus being spread between them. However, even horse racing in the UK has now been cancelled as of the 17th March until at least the end of April. This is in part to do with the fact races need to be supported by the emergency services who have no capacity at present.
In the world of football, rugby and other sports, however, that is very much not the case. Players come into constant contact with each other in those contact sports, meaning that the possibility of spreading the illness between participants is huge. As soon as players were diagnosed with Covid-19, therefore, everything had to change.
The big question for the government and authorities now is about whether or not there needs to be a clampdown on mass public gatherings. Again, this is because of the ability of people to spread the virus between each other when they’re in close proximity. If there is no crowd at some sporting events then they lose something intangible as a result.
The current plan is for the Olympics to be moved, possibly to next summer, the relay of the Olympic touch was also moved behind closed doors in order to reduce the chance of large groups of people coming out to watch it happen.
What Will Be The Impact?
The impact of sports being cancelled around the world can barely be calculated at this stage. There will be large swathes of people who work on zero hours contracts and depend on sporting events to pay their bills because they work as stewards, cooks and cleaners. Without the money from the jobs they do they will soon find themselves in a difficult financial situation.
There are similar problems for local shops, restaurants, hotels and bars as the usual customers that would attend them are not doing so as they don’t have a match to go to. There’s also the impact on sporting events themselves, given the huge amount of sport needing to be played over forthcoming summers that will have to cram in new events too.
What You Can Bet On
The list of what you are unable to bet on currently is a long one, taking in pretty much every major event from around the world. That is absolutely the right decision, given that public health should be at the top of every sporting body’s priority list. Yet the fact that it’s the right thing to do doesn’t make it any less frustrating for those of us that like to have a flutter from time to time.
Generally sports still going include international greyhound and horse racing, mainly from the US, Australia & NX and South Africa. You can watch some eastern European football from Belarus and Russia along with some other more random leagues from South American and Indonesia. There is a minor amount of exhibition tennis still going with basketball and ice hockey, again mainly eastern Europe and Russian matches.
Some more obscure sports are starting to come to the fore during the lockdown. One example is table tennis, which currently has over 100 matches on some days. Other events like Volleyball and Chess are still going ahead on a limited level too and bizarrely are featured prominently by bookies at this time.
Even land based casinos are having to shut their doors, if for no other reason than punters are steering clear of wanting to handle chips, press buttons on machines and generally be in crowded places. As a result, people are turning to unusual things to bet on in order to keep themselves entertained. Bookmakers are also being fair on the return of bets on events that are being postponed or cancelled.
An obvious thing to look towards is non-sporting markets that will continue to run even whilst our favourite sporting events are put in lockdown. You can look to bet on who the Democratic nominee for President will be, for example, or on who will win the Labour Leadership contest. That has been suspended at the time of writing, but bets can still be placed on it.
TV shows often come into the mind of bookmakers when sports betting is slow, with Game Of Thrones being hugely appealing to punters when its climax was on the way in 2019. The likes of reality TV shows and awards shows also offer good markets for those that like to watch them. On top of that there are those that are in a hallway house, such as virtual sports.
At the time of writing, there’s no reason why eSports can’t take place given that they are essentially made up of people playing on computers. Of course it’s not as exciting or entertaining as real sports, but eSports offer an opportunity to bet on something where you don’t know the outcome. There are also eSports of all different kinds, meaning you can bet on what you enjoy.
FIFA tournaments are a regular occurrence, for example, whilst other games such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive and League Of Legends are extremely popular. Right now, for example, there are matches going on in both of those eSports categories, with one between Edward Gaming and Rogue Warriors and the other seeing Rooster and Team Skyfire do battle.
It is likely eSports may finally enter the mainstream as a result of the current lockdown.
Virtual sports availability has increased massively in the past 5 years with no almost all sites providing at least virtual racing. You can pretty much find any sport now available virtually including; football, tennis, horse racing, greyhounds, cycling, darts, american football, speedway, trotting, motor sport and cricket – to name just a few.
These are all technically games, i.e. they are driven by software in the same way a slot game is with defined margins and probabilities. It therefore doesn’t quite have the same level of uncertainty as real-world sports but at the same time these games are created using real-world sports data and so are generally a true enough reflection.
In some ways because the margin percentage is predetermined by the bookie it means many of the bets are actually better value compared to the real-world. At the same time though there will be less shocks, for example if you back at horse at 20/1 in a virtual race it really will be a 20/1 horse and it will win proportionally to those odds.
Virtual sports offers are quite common as bookies have been trying to push these products for a long time, especially now.
Whilst major sports around the world are shutting down, it’s worth noting that there are still some matches in the sports you love that you’ll be able to bet on. The India Goa Professional League and leagues in Nepal are still playing football games, for instance. Likewise there are still Russian Super League basketball matches taking place.
The best thing to do is to head to the In-Play section of your favourite bookmaker’s website, where you’ll get a good idea of what’s still on-going. You can bet on the likes of table tennis, volleyball and bowls, so they’re sports worth keeping an eye out for. In addition to that, some sports like horse racing are carrying on, just behind closed doors.