Breakthrough bookmakers hardest hit as world sports grind to halt

If you’ve visited any of your favourite betting sites lately you might have noticed the tumbleweed blowing through the sports odds sections. That’s right, it’s not just the Premier League that’s been put on hold, but the majority of global sports have been cancelled pending further notice. 

It’s led the sports betting moguls and avid players alike scrambling to find something of substance to set their stake against, but it’s the breakthrough bookmakers that will be feeling the biggest pinch in such tough times for the online gaming industry. 

We spoke to Jacob Ljunggren, Product Director of Leadstar Media about the dearth in global sports and the impact it is having on the current market, in particular bookmakers who are looking to establish themselves on the UK. 

“It’s only early days yet, but we’re expecting the emerging online bookmakers to be the hardest hit, especially when it comes to the UK. Those that currently hold the largest share of revenue such as the likes of Bet365, Betfair and Ladbrokes, will most likely weather the storm. But it’s those looking for a greater slice of the pie who will be hardest hit”, says Ljunggren.

Indeed the UK is a tough market to break on to, but if a bookmaker can make it, they can be sure the rewards are manifold.

The UK gambling sector is perhaps the most entrenched market of any in the world, with online bookmakers serving their products to an experienced and knowledgeable sports betting community.

“Many of the biggest online bookmakers have well and established roots in the UK – the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred are very much the brick-and-mortar old guard that made a successful transition to the online realm, while companies like bet365 and Betfair rode on the coattails of the web revolution to establish themselves as fan favourites, not just in the UK but on a global scale,” states Ljunggren. 

“It’s true that the UK market is a tough nut to crack, but as you can see from our best overview of UK bookmakers on our flagship site, there are as many lesser known brands as well as familiar faces.”

The likes of LeoVegas, Bethard, 22Bet, and as of late STS, have all succeeded in acquiring UK licences and were set to have huge years with the onset of major football events such as the Champions League and of course the European Championships during the summer. 

“Bethard’s first true breakthrough year came in 2018 during the World Cup, and we predicted they were set to go big with Euro 2020. As our Bethard review suggests they’re a bookmaker we rate very highly, especially when it comes to the bigger sporting events with great odds and promos as part of wide ranging campaigns.”

UK punters on the whole still very much prefer to bet with the larger, more established brands, but Ljunggren feels that emerging betting sites on the UK market have a lot to offer also, if not more in some cases. 

“I personally like to have one or two betting sites in my pocket. It’s important to remember that many of these newer brands are compelled to offer something extra special to catch your eye and stand out from the crowd. For example Bethard have great campaigns and promotions, while STS have a great loyalty club.”

The perils of entry onto the UK market are very real. Competition is fierce in the face of a whole host of aggressive, dynamic and adaptive rivals. Most recently Swedish betting company comeon! pulled their primary products out of the UK sector, preferring to look towards the developing Indian market. 

How long the break in play will continue is still unsure. But what is certain is that the longer the suspension of major sporting events continue, the harder it will hit those seeking success, particularly when it comes striving for it in the UK. 

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