With US leading the number of Covid-19 cases the country’s iGaming industry is feeling the impact. Many nations and states are witnessing a spike in online casino gaming but the spread of Coronavirus has obliterated sports betting. Let’s go over the happenings in the online gambling world over the past week.
Pennsylvania witnesses a spike in online casino gambling
Pennsylvania has witnessed a notable increase in online poker and casino activities over the past few weeks. Many parts of the country are subject to stay-at-home orders, resulting in this increase.
The Covid-19 pandemic had already caused the closure of 12 land-based casinos in the state. Tom Wolf, the governor of the state recently extended the lockdown to ten counties, through April 6. However, eight online casinos legally operating in Pennsylvania continue to offer their services to interested people.
Rust Street Interactive which runs a couple of online casinos in PA has noticed conventional sports bettors migrating to online casino games. Fanduel which offers both sports betting and online casino services witnessed $238.6 million exchanging hands in table games like roulette, blackjack and others during February. PokerStars which runs the only online poker service in PA saw a two-times increase in the number of seats in a week.
Online bookmakers turning to coronavirus-related bets in the absence of sports events
With most major sports events suspended due to Covid-19, online bookmakers have turned to prop bets related to the pandemic. PariMatch and Betcity, two well-known Russian online bookies have created a separate section for such bets, on their websites. Lockdown durations and vaccine release dates have been given odds. Bizarrely so have toilet paper and even buckwheat shortages.
U.S. based online gambling businesses have also had to create unique betting options to keep the revenue ticking during the crisis. The American Gaming Association said online bookmakers could lose almost $ 43.5 billion revenue due to shutdown of sports events.
PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg pleads guilty to charges of illegal online gambling
Isai Scheinberg, the PokerStars founder recently admitted to running illegal online gambling operations. This brought an end to a legal battle that had been going on for the past nine years. 10 other executives of different online gambling companies have also been charged with illegal gambling, money laundering and bank fraud. PokerStars had agreed to a $ 731 million settlement with the Justice Department in 2012, without admitting to any wrongdoing.
Scheinberg was arrested in Switzerland in June 2019 before being sent to face charges in the US. If sentenced, he faces up to 5 years imprisonment. Prosecutors have agreed to not seek more than 12 to 18 months’ sentence, as per his plea agreement. A spokesperson for Mr Scheinberg told the press that he is happy at being able to put the longstanding matter to rest.
To find out more about how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting the global iGaming industry, contact Fast Offshore. We are on hand to provide expert advice on how to mitigate potential damaging effects. We can also give you information on making the best of the situation in terms of business and financial opportunities. Let us help you through this difficult and challenging time, contact us today.
Contact Fast Offshore to receive expert advice on how to make the best of the current situation in terms of business and financial opportunities during this difficult and challenging time.