There is no hiding from the fact that the past few months have been particularly hard for land-based casinos and gambling houses. While online operations have largely benefited from lockdown rules and stay-at-home measures during the coronavirus pandemic, it has been quite the opposite experience for brick and mortar businesses.
Even as the outbreak continues to hit large parts of the United States, casino companies have begun reopening under strict health and safety measures in an attempt to get the industry’s economy moving once again. Reduced capacities and opening hours, temperature checks, face masks, and sanitization stations have all become the norm.
Among the areas of the gambling sector to begin reopening over the past few weeks has been sportsbooks across the United States.
The past two years have been an exciting time for sports betting in the US after the Supreme Court ruling that legalized sports betting in all states, and while 18 states have begun operations, others are expected to soon follow suit.
The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of America’s professional sports leagues made sportsbook all but useless for the past few months. But as the return of pro sports fast approaches and federal and state restrictions continue to ease, sportsbooks have started to reopen the doors.
Sportsbooks in Las Vegas, Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, Indiana, and Mississippi have all been welcoming visitors back over the past few weeks, while just this week, Betfred USA Sports – the US subsidiary of UK-based Betfred – announced it was set to launch its fourth sportsbook in Las Vegas at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
The timing of the widespread reopening of sportsbooks across the US is certainly not coincidental. While economically damaging to be closed for months, sportsbooks served little purpose with sports all-but nonexistent.
However, there is about to be an explosion of sports action in the coming weeks as North America’s four most popular sports all take to the field/court/rink.
What to look for: MLB, NBA, NHL
The Major League Baseball season, initially scheduled to begin in March, makes its long-awaited start on July 23 and will play out a significantly reduced regular season of just 60 games. The World Series are set to start on October 30.
The NBA season gets back underway in new surroundings from July 30 with 22 teams competing in a sort of mini league located exclusively at Walt Disney World Resort on Florida. Eight teams have been excluded on account of their inability to reach the playoffs. The Finals are scheduled to begin on September 30.
Just two weeks after the NBA kicks into gear, the NFL will start its pre-season games from August 14, with the regular season beginning on September 11. The Superbowl is scheduled for February 7.
Meanwhile, the NHL will take to the ice at the end of the month with exhibition games getting the delayed season back underway on July 28 before Stanley Cup qualifiers begin on August 1. The Stanley Cup itself will start on September 22.
As well as the “Big Four” generating plenty of interest for sports fans – and plenty of business for sportsbooks – North American horse racing has been able to continue hosting races, albeit on a reduced schedule.
The Triple Crown is going ahead after a change in the running order, with the Belmont Stakes already taking place. The Kentucky Derby will follow on September 5, with the Preakness Stakes staging the finale on October 3.
Other sports to bet on
All of this only highlights the packed sports schedule the United States is about to experience over the coming months. There will not be a day that goes by when baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or horse racing will not be happening, presenting an opportunity for sportsbooks to take advantage.
By offering visitors, the latest lines and futures bets on the “Big Four” sports and the latest Kentucky Derby odds and Preakness Stakes odds, sportsbooks across the United States will view the next few months as the ideal antidote to months of financial strain and inactivity.
You can bet on the Kentucky Derby odds online too through here: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/odds
There is plenty of damage to be undone from the coronavirus pandemic, but the return of US sport and its constant presence for the foreseeable future will allow fans and sportsbooks to at least breathe a collective sigh of relief.