In the past few years, Main Events, the largest sportsbook operator in North America, has led the way in implementing innovative sports betting products and platforms for mainstream and mobile customers. The company recently surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time in its history, proving just how much the industry has changed since the inception of the Main Events brand in 1972.
While Main Events is best known for its betting offerings, the company has evolved over the years into a full-fledged gambling destination with more than a dozen different casino games and dozens of tables. With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic fresh in everyone’s minds and travel restrictions limiting the number of potential gamblers, now may not be the best time to be visiting Las Vegas. But even before the pandemic, the city was struggling with a decreasingly interested audience. And with all the changes caused by the pandemic, the sports betting climate in Vegas could be changing for the better. Here’s why:
Modern Take on a Classic American Sports Vacation
Even before the pandemic, Las Vegas wasn’t exactly the most inspiring of vacation spots. The city is best known as the home of the Rat Pack and the Playboy Mansion, but those interested in sports will remember it more for its association with fixed sports betting markets, where shady characters were often found lurking.
But all that changed in the early 2010s with the explosion of online review sites and sportsbooks that put the world at your fingertips. Suddenly, Vegas sports betting wasn’t just a rumor you heard on the news or at the end of a movie — you could find all the information you needed to make rational decisions and have all the comforts of home on the road. That’s what made the early 2010s an opportunity not just to make money on sports, but to bring the industry forward into the 21st century. While there are still plenty of shady characters in the sports betting world, there’s also a growing contingent of reputable operators who understand how to treat their customers right.
The Effect of Social Distancing on Sports Betting
Prior to the pandemic, Las Vegas was at the forefront of the social distancing craze that continues to loom large over the world today. With plenty of room inside the stadiums and plenty of green space around them, sports fans were able to watch their favorite teams and athletes without risking their safety in the crowd. While it’s still not completely safe to attend sporting events — particularly basketball and American football matches — the health concerns that accompany large gatherings have certainly taken their toll. And it’s not just attendance that is down. Across the board, the sports betting landscape in Las Vegas is one of the most depressing elements to emerge from the pandemic. Revenue is down, customer care is down, and there’s a strong chance that the whole industry could enter a period of retrenchment.
The Growth of eSports As a Result of the Pandemic
One of the fastest growing segments in all of sports betting is eSports — competitive gaming. While traditional sports have largely focused on the result of a single game, eSports are all about the competition. Teams of two or more take on each other in head-to-head battles using digital devices, with the winner determined by the number of wins. And just like that, eSports were suddenly everywhere, appearing not just on TV sets but also in people’s living rooms through streaming services like Twitch.
eSports are a natural fit for mobile phones and tablets — and through the power of these digital platforms, the competition can now be found anywhere and anytime. The fact that games can now be completed virtually guarantees that eSports will continue to grow, even after the pandemic is over.
Why Visit Vegas When There Are So Many Other Spots Around The Country?
Although there’s plenty to do in Las Vegas — including live concerts and comedy shows — the odds are that you won’t be there long enough to do everything. Especially when you consider the option of a road trip with friends and family. There are plenty of other spots around the country where you can get your fix of sports betting, including places like New Jersey, where you can find a live game every day of the week, and Delaware, where you can place bets from the comfort of your home. There are also a variety of mobile apps that make it easy to place bets wherever you happen to be — including when you’re on the go. And given all the changes that the world is currently going through, it’s an opportune time for vacationers to visit these other locations rather than head to Las Vegas.
The Industry Is Thriving, But Will Travel And The Gaming Environment Bring It Back?
It’s important to keep in mind that while the sports betting industry as a whole is struggling, it’s not all bad news. In fact, there are a variety of positive developments that could result in a turning point for the industry, especially online gambling. For instance, many states have partially opened their doors to sports betting again, and with the help of innovative new technologies, sportsbooks and casinos have created safe and secure environments where customers can feel confident placing bets.
When it comes to travel and recreation, the world wants to get back to what it was before the pandemic. And for the time being, there are a variety of options available to the sports enthusiast, from hiking to camping and even glamping — for those looking to add an extra touch of luxury.