Practically overnight, the sports betting industry lost its entire market with the outbreak of the corona crisis. With the cancellation or interruption of almost all leagues in Europe and the USA, sports betting also came to a standstill.
Sports betting is a difficult and highly segmented business
It is not that simple, because sports betting is a difficult and highly segmented business that has long had less to do with smoky backrooms than with the trading floor. A basic distinction must be made between online business and the sports betting café – there are worlds between these divisions. The online business is dominated by large and mostly listed providers, almost all of whom have one thing in common: they play with licenses from Malta and the business is divided between gaming (i.e. casino-like games on the Internet like sgp 45) and sports betting.
The world’s largest provider is GVC Holdings, whose sports betting branch is the former Austrian parade company bwin. Bwin’s greatest merit was probably that sports betting in Austria were led out of the dirty corner, and Hannes Androsch also served as an investor. After a takeover battle, bwin was taken over by GVC Holdings by £ 1.1 billion until 2016 (around € 1.4 billion at the time).
The Upper Austrian company bet-at-home is one of the largest European providers. Franz Ömer, who once founded the company, is still the managing director. There are over five million registered customers, the share is listed in Frankfurt and the league sponsorship of the local ice hockey and basketball league has recently made headlines.
The standstill of the sport also affects bet-at-home, but not as much as the small providers – because last year we did 57 percent of our business with gaming, and this area is sure to increase this year. But the business with sports betting has not completely come to a standstill either, because real sports weather is about the betting experience and less about the league. So the weather has recently switched to plenty of exotic things: table tennis in Russia or basketball in Taiwan.
The emerging super sports year 2021 is also an extremely important one from the perspective of bet-at-home. But rather for marketing reasons: There are significantly more new customers for major events. But classic sports weather has a certain budget at its disposal and does not bet more on major events than on normal days. Despite the sports standstill and Corona, Ömer remains optimistic for the current financial year. Thanks to the reserves, bet-at-home remains with a dividend of two euros.
It looks very different in the area that catches your eye almost every day: the sports betting cafés. Sharif Shoukry, once press spokesman for Rapid and RB Leipzig, is the spokesman for local sports betting providers who are currently completely standing still. On the other hand, it will no longer be possible to make up for the loss of business here.