It's not been an easy few weeks for any us, likely no matter where you're based. The coronavirus pandemic has been thorough in affecting the daily lives of pretty much all professions on every continent, including crypto sportsbooks. The likes of crypto casinos and blockchain gaming enterprises have arguably been less-impacted with their remote nature and global audience, though.
Sportsbooks, and particularly burgeoning crypto bookies, have been hit hard. No longer can sportsbooks, such as Sportsbet.io and Cloudbet, bank on overwhelming sporting content to give their player base. Some of the biggest sporting competitions and leagues have been cancelled or postponed. The Tokyo Olympics has been pushed to 2021, and even that's not a definite. Euro 2020 has been delayed, and soccer leagues around Europe have been thrown into an unprecedented situation in terms of rescheduling and different training environments.
Sportsbooks would have expected one of their strongest periods to date. But this is no longer viable and players have had to be serviced with new content to keep them engaged. Just as crypto and blockchain sportsbook's have entered the mainstream, a major growth opportunity has been pulled from beneath their feet.
More sports, more streaming
So, on the whole, how have they got on? Have crypto bookies shown an ability to adapt with diversified sporting events and marketing offers? Or have they shut up shop, waiting for normality to return and hoping this sporting dearth will all blow over?
Well it's fair to say that we've been impressed by what we've seen. A lack of sporting content has freed up trading teams to take on new leagues and sports. The likes of table tennis and niche football leagues have been added to fill gaps, and to much success.
Crypto bookies, whichever cryptocurrencies they accept, seem to be using the time wisely in other ways too. With more resource in-house, some, such as Wagerr, have made advances to their sportsbook technology and platform. Others have started to add more engaging experiences through the integration of live streaming, while new marketing tools have been deployed to engage new and old players alike.
Crypto sportsbooks look to esports
Arguably one of the winners in the current climate, though, is esports. The distanced nature of esports has meant more continuity to its schedule. It is definitely starting to gain a good foothold with fledgling sports operators. CS:GO and LoL have proven they transfer well to the betting arena and it's clear that they offer a quality entertainment experience. Less popular esports, but still big hitters in the amateur arena, like NBA and FIFA have also proven to be a quickfire means of revenue generation, similar to virtual sports.
So, it's not all doom and gloom right now for crypto bookmakers. Players have stayed loyal to platforms and benefited from operators diversifying their betting markets with lower profile, but still engaging content. And there's definitely light returning at the end of the tunnel. The German Bundesliga is back in action. The English and Spanish leagues are likely to follow suit soon. Horse racing calendars are being confirmed, and cricket might return soon too.
Crypto sportsbooks may have suffered a short term hit which will be a blow to their bottom line. However, better operations have taken this time to build out platforms and deliver new content, in particular esports. While those looking at acquiring a new customer base will only benefit their brand awareness. When this all blows over, it's likely we'll see a far stronger betting vertical which will be stronger in the long term.