The German Bundesliga returned a few weekends ago and many sports betting firms saw it as a little relief.
It was three weeks ago that we got to know that the two German top tier divisions, namely the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga, would be the first leagues to get back to action after some weeks of suspension due to the current situation of the world.
The date given for the resumption was the 16 of May, and they were scheduled to start off behind closed doors. But this will only happen with strict compliance with health standards and protocols, including conducting thousands of tests every week.
The fact that these major European leagues are coming back to action will serve as a major boost to the numerous operators and affiliates out there that have been lamenting about the loss of revenue and profit during the period of suspension of leagues across Europe. So, you should expect bookies to be trying to grab punters at any opportunity by offering some appealing promotions to use on the matches coming up. The UK focused sports betting site, MaxFreeBets, has plenty in store for you when it comes to free bets and other betting offers.
Information from Flutter Entertainment in April revealed that Paddy Power Betfair, which is one of the biggest names in the business lost up to 75% of their year on year profit from 16th March to 12th April.
Because of the situation, an estimated EBITDA reduction of up to £50m ($61m) was predicted by the GVC, while the kindred group had a drop in operating profit of up to 60% against what it was last year, placing it at £7.3m this year.
William Hill gave its update on Treading between 11 March to 28 April, and it revealed that they witnessed a 57% drop in revenue. Amidst all these, sports wagering took a 70% hit.
Now, the rate of decline in the number of sports bettors shows no reflection of this, and that is because punters chose alternative sports instead of leaving completely. So, betting on sporting events in emerging football leagues like the Belarusian league and on non-orthodox sports like table tennis became their respite. However, while interests in novel events like tennis and unusual leagues plus stay at home darts competitions were high at the initial stage, they’ve declined in the last few weeks.
A PR Director in Pressbox, Alex Donohue, in an AffiliateCon Virtually Live powered by Gambling Insider, revealed that the reasons why the initial boom is no longer there are because the durability or lifespan of these obscure sporting events on the betting limelight is always short. For him, fans enjoy familiar territories and would like to wager on those leagues, clubs, and players that they know much about and have followed for a long time. It may take time to get people educated about the Belarusian Premier League, but once they see a game of Bundesliga which parades the top clubs and their very popular players, they will most likely turn their attention to it.
The CMO of Spotlight Sports Group, Louise Agran who was part of the panel also posited that with the return of the league, both investors and their affiliates will have the chance to do what they enjoy doing. Though these affiliates have been trying to apply and market these novel offerings as the new normal in the past few weeks, getting people to jump back on their favorite familiar territory as the leagues in the UK returns will not pose a problem at all. Agran said that they are taking things carefully, in the bid to rile up the zeal and excitement about this in their customers, and also to come up with enough content on the best way for them to move back to betting in the mainstream sports sector.
For her, every stakeholder in the industry seems to agree that the best thing to do now is to market the Bundesliga to all that interested in it after the long break.
However, there would be serious scrutiny on how the affiliates and operators go about this marketing of the Bundesliga and other leagues that will soon follow suit, especially when you consider what the industry has done to show its commitment to responsible gaming all through the lockdown period.
Agran agrees that the sector has done very well in this, and though they’ve learned lessons about communication and marketing, the real action comes with the resumption of sporting activities in the big leagues in the next few weeks.
For her, the return of the Bundesliga serves as the litmus test needed to gauge the full comeback of every other sports and league, including the Premier League. Some players may want to sit down and observe first. But it is only with the response from the customers that we can gauge whether the decision is right or not.
So, while the industry can see this as a great opportunity, they must be cautious about how they lunge in, so they don’t go against the responsible gaming approach they’ve championed for a very long time.