Coronavirus In SA: Sports Betting Takes A Huge Knock As Games Cancelled

a close up of a person playing football in front of a crowd: The loss of all the soccer leagues due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus meant that betting outlets were generally emptier over the weekend and that meant dire financial implications. File Picture.

 © Provided by Daily News The loss of all the soccer leagues due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus meant that betting outlets were generally emptier over the weekend and that meant dire financial implications. File Picture. Durban – BETTING shops were relatively empty over the weekend and will likely remain so until the coronavirus subsides and sport matches are no longer suspended.

Hollywoodbets operations manager Dermot O’Connell said the loss of all the soccer leagues meant that betting outlets were generally emptier over the weekend and that meant dire financial implications.

“The loss of soccer matches across the world has left punters with limited opportunities to win money.

“Soccer punters are reluctant to stake their bets on minor leagues, so the loss of all major leagues, including the EPL, La Liga and Serie A, has been devastating.

“The loss of Super Rugby and numerous other sporting codes will also have a serious negative impact.”

He added that Hollywoodbets had contingency plans in place on an operational and marketing front.

The coronavirus has left them working feverishly on sourcing opportunities to broaden their product base.

Marshalls World Of Sport, however, did relatively well over the weekend due to their other products such as horse racing, BetGames, lucky numbers and dog racing, said Travis Hardnick, digital marketer.

“The information from the president only came through on Sunday, so there was no change to our premises filling.

“It’s a bit too early to truly decipher the implications, but we obviously did not have as much turnover from sports as we usually do.”

Amid the pandemic, Hardnick also said they needed to ensure their staff and punters were safe in their branches and they would continue to offer their non-sports products in store and online.

Meanwhile, Phumelela Gaming – which represents Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, Kenilworth Racing, Gold Circle, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and the Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust – has implemented a number of protocols and procedures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Phumelela gaming editor in chief Danie Toerien said from Tuesday all race meetings would be closed to the public until further notice.

“Only essential racing participants will be allowed access to racecourses on race days.

“These include owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, officials and staff deemed necessary to host a race meeting safely and successfully.”

Toerien said access points to the racecourses would be limited as well as facilities for participants such as hospitality.

Hand sanitisers would be made available to all racing participants allowed on the course, with the necessary signage and instructions.

“The same sanitisation measures will be applied at training centres, which will include all grooms.

“In addition, various restrictive measures to be implemented as precautionary, as well as potential lockdown procedures, are being put into place in the eventuality of an outbreak at any of the grooms’ accommodation.”

Moreover, all non-racing events across the country would be cancelled immediately, he said.

Attendance at betting shops would be limited to under 100 people and sanitisation measures put in place at all outlets.

Racing fans were encouraged to open online betting accounts instead of placing bets at betting shops.

“The racing operators reserve the right to deny access to any of their venues to any person displaying Covid-19 symptoms.”

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