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Football Betting Boom Predicted

The global pandemic has had a huge financial cost across most sectors of the UK economy, and the sports betting sector has been one of the most seriously hit.

In fact, although there has been some help for betting companies from the UK government, in terms of support for furloughing their employees, betting firms have taken a big hit during the Covid-19 pandemic with the cancellation of all major sport dramatically reducing their revenue.

The disruption to the established UK sporting calendar has been huge and no significant sport has been spared. The National Hunt horse racing season, one of the betting industry’s most reliable forms of revenue, effectively came to an end after the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March, while the first two months of the flat racing season were wiped off. The cricket season was never able to start, while the rugby union season has still to finish and the summer’s Super League competition has been suspended since the middle of March.

The biggest blow of all to the £14 billion UK betting industry has been the absence of Premier League football. The world’s most popular domestic football competition is a huge revenue generator for betting companies, but Premier League fans have been left with no action to watch or bet on since Leicester City beat Aston Villa 4-0 on March 9th.

Some firms have been able to offset these losses to an extent, through increased traffic for their casino-based products, but the UK authorities have rightly been vigilant in ensuring that betting companies don’t exploit their customers, many of whom will have been at home throughout the early weeks of the pandemic. The UK Gambling Commission has brought in tougher rules for this period, and firms that were already under fire over their marketing practices, including some of the major players in the UK industry, have had to tread carefully.

But the good news is that the long wait is almost over. Having been without top flight football for over three months, Premier League fans will be able to enjoy their favourite competition from June 17, albeit from their own home, as no fans will be allowed to watch the games.

The Premier League is set to be one of the last leagues in Europe to return to action. Leagues in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia have already restarted, most with tight restrictions, and both Italy and Spain are set to get underway by the middle of June.

But for UK betting companies, the Premier League is the big one. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the Premier League to the UK betting industry. The betting business has seen a big rise since 2017 in the level of money wagered on the competition, and after three months without any Premier League action to bet on, companies are bracing themselves for a hectic and lucrative period as the domestic season is played to a conclusion.

And there will be plenty of options for football betting fans when the top flight action returns. There are 92 games remaining in total before the end of the season, which is scheduled to conclude on 26th July, along with the last three rounds of the FA Cup, the final of which ends the season on August 1.

Before then, Liverpool will have the chance to clinch their first Premier League title since 1990, while a host of teams will be fighting for the Champions League and Europa League qualification spots. And at the other end of the table, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, Brighton and West Ham are involved in a desperate fight to avoid relegation. It promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the season and a dramatic upsurge in the level of betting action over the next six weeks is guaranteed.