What does this mean for the esports industry?
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The idea of postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics started back in February. This idea was still in discussion when it became evident that COVID-19 was clearly not contained to just China but was slowly taking its toll and spreading worldwide.
While the Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event to be affected by the pandemic, there has been a huge impact on a host of other major tournaments and sports like : Euro 2020 in football, Six Nations in rugby union, the Monaco Grand Prix, County cricket in England and Wales, Golf's Masters, PGA Championship and The London Marathon.
After weeks and weeks of denial, organisers have finally bowed to the reality of the postponement of the 2020 Olympic games.
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said in a statement that “Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do,
“The health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible. Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is. It is essential therefore that all steps are taken to try and limit the spread of this disease.”
Most players were completely understanding throughout this whole situation, Teddy Riner, double Olympic super-heavyweight judo champion said, "First, we have a more important fight to win" referring to stopping COVID-19.
The International Olympic Commission and the Japanese government had mounting pressure from hosts of Olympic committees and athletes demanding the postponement of the world’s biggest multi-sports event.
This event being postponed for the first time in its 124-year history has undoubtedly impacted the online betting sites and the sports betting industry as a whole.
What does this mean to Olympic betting odds?
All Tokyo Olympics futures bets that have already been placed are being cancelled by all sportsbooks and online betting sites. All futures bets have been refunded and money has been returned to the bettors’ accounts.
Nick Bogdanovich of William Hill said with the drought on betting sports continuing, this particular Olympics might have been big business for Willliam Hill and other operators.
“Normally, the Olympics don’t do a lot of business,” he said. “But this Olympics would’ve probably done well because it would be coming off this long drought and people would’ve been jonesing and jonesing for something to bet that they were familiar with.”
Considering that most sports events got cancelled before the Olympics did, online betting sites released a prop bet that asked which country would pull out of the Olympics first.
With countries pulling out of the games willingly, the IOC had no choice, but to postpone the games.
Despite the cancellation of leagues and tournaments across the globe, fortunately, sports is finding relief in esports.
Traditional sports relying on esports:
The esports industry has exploded overnight on the back of billion-dollar investments from the world’s most influential companies, including Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Internationally, esports now boasts over 1 billion fans.
Companies like Steam, Valve’s PC gaming marketplace are recording breaking records in the number of users with more than 22 million players logging on. Sporting events like Formula One have also sought to move racing to online, to fill the massive void in sports.
According to the Japan Times, by 2030, esports will become both the most watched and the most played sport around the globe, reaching an estimated 3 billion fans.
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