2020 has been a strange year for sport. We've only made it a quarter of the way through and already we've witnessed a string of unforgettable events that will go down in history, from the worldwide closure of major leagues to the postponement of sporting events like Euro 2020 and the Summer Olympics.
It has changed a lot of things for a lot of people, but some things have remained the same. In this guide, we'll look at sports betting and casino games in 2020, seeing which of these popular options is best in the current climate.
Sports Betting in 2020Sports betting ground to a halt in March 2020. The world's biggest football leagues were postponed because of the coronavirus and while a few leagues did continue, they soon followed suit and closed their doors as well.
All sports witnessed the postponement or cancelation of major events. In addition to domestic leagues, football saw the postponement of Euro 2020 and the Champions League while rugby was forced to postpone Six Nations games. And that's just the tip of the iceberg:
- Athletics: The Summer Olympics was the biggest event to be postponed, but multiple marathons and half-marathons were also cancelled, including ones in New York, Barcelona, Prague, Rome, Madrid, and Paris.
- Auto Racing: The Formula 1 season was cut short and then delayed, with postponements in multiple races. This was followed by similar events in the WRC, Formula E, and NASCAR.
- Baseball: The MLB preseason was cancelled and the regular season then postponed.
- Basketball: The NBA was suspended on March 22.
- Cricket: Multiple tours were cancelled, followed by events like the Dhaka Premier League and Sheffield Shield.
- Golf: The US PGA Tour and all events were cancelled or postponed.
- Horse Racing: The Grand National was cancelled for the first time since World War II. The Kentucky Derby and Dubai Cup soon followed.
- Rugby: Multiple events in rugby league and union were cancelled including the Six Nations, Rugby Sevens, and Super League.
- Football: The world's biggest sport and the one that was hardest hit, with suspensions to all major domestic and international competitions.
- Tennis: The French Open has been delayed, along with multiple ATP and WTA events.
All of this meant that sports betting websites were left with little more than obscure events, as well as sports like table tennis and eSports, which still take place in indoor locations all over the world.
To counteract this sudden decline, sports betting sites were forced to offer interactive games. These games were marketed like the real thing and some of them raised millions of dollars, a lot of which went to charity. For instance, a huge amount of marketing was done for a simulated boxing event, which took fighters like Butterbean and Mike Tyson and simulated fights using the Fight Night video game.
The Grand National was also simulated, taking the place of the real event.
Online Casinos in 2020Many sports bettors moved over to online casino games when sports events started being cancelled. Major casino developers like Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and also many of the casino brands and websites all increased their efforts, knowing that there would be a huge surge in activity and making sure they were prepared for it.
The industry was flooded with slot machines, table games, bingo games, and more. Surprisingly, the live casino industry wasn't that affected, with presenters still making it to work and still streaming live action to players all over the world. The casinos have also done a good job of dealing with the extra bandwidth, although they have struggled somewhat with regards to customer support, as call centres have suffered from staff losses and experienced an increased demand.
Online casinos couldn't simply wait for spots bettors to start playing. They still needed to attract them, and so they began offering bigger and better bonuses, many of which have a distinctly sporty feel to them, including bonuses based on sport slots and interactive sport games.
Bottom Line: Sports Betting vs Online Casinos in 2020Based on everything we said above, it's clear that online casinos are the best option for players in 2020. Sports betting sites are just as capable as they have always been and many of them are even offering more tempting bonuses, but the best sports betting site in the world is worthless if there are no sports to bet on.
With casino games, there are no limitations. You can play as many as you want, whenever you want. You don't have to worry about suspensions, lockdowns, and quarantine, and it doesn't matter if your favourite leagues are suspended or not.
2020 has been a crazy year and it has caused a lot of problems for sports betting sites and other customers. But casinos have been able to shoulder the burden and provide players with the opportunities they need, giving them a chance to bet every day and take their minds off the destruction that the virus has caused.