Global impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in sports and gambling markets

Global impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in sports and gambling markets

The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to cause disruption to gambling markets around the world, while a host of sporting events have also been suspended in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.

The English Premier League will meet today (13 March 2020) to discuss the possible suspension of matches after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi both tested positive for the disease.

Yesterday, Thursday 12th of March 2020, the Premier League had stated that all matches would go ahead as planned this weekend, but later announced it would reconsider the decision after the two cases were confirmed.

UEFA, football’s European governing body, today announced that all Champions League and Europa League matches due to be played next week have all been postponed. The draws for the next round of games in both competitions have also been postponed until further notice.

The English Football League, the organisation that manages the three divisions below the top-tier Premier League, today suspended all games until 3 April.

Italy’s top football division Serie A has suspended all games until April 3, while Spain’s La Liga has postponed at least the next two rounds of matches.

Meanwhile, ice hockey’s National Hockey League (NHL) has become the latest professional sporting competition in North America to suspend its season in response to the outbreak.

The decision, which was backed by the NHL Players’ Association, means that all major sports events in North America have now been suspended. Yesterday, the National Basketball Association (NBA) Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer all announced the postponement of games.

In the case with the NBA, the decision to suspend play came after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus. Several teams in the major league competitions in North America share training and player facilities.

Elsewhere, the Formula 1 has suspended its season-opening Australian Grand Prix in response to a plea from drivers and team members. McLaren had already withdrawn from the race after one of its team tested positive for the disease.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus has had an impact on regional gambling markets around the world, not least in Italy where a lockdown in the country had led to the closure of retail betting facilities.

This week, Newgioco warned that the closure of its shops in the country could have an impact on revenue, while Playtech also confirmed it had temporarily shut all of its Snaitech stores to comply with the government-ordered lockdown.

Additionally, Holland Casino has closed all of its branches across The Netherlands until at least 31 March. As of midnight last night, its 14 casinos in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Scheveningen, Zandvoort, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Breda, Nijmegen, Enschede, Valkenburg, Eindhoven and Venlo are shut.


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