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Desperate Sports Bettors Turn to Presidential Race, Table Tennis, Madden Sims Big Biz

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Apr/19/2020

With the coronavirus pandemic dragging on and continuing to force the postponement of most sports, gamblers have grown desperate.  And as luck would have it, there is still plenty to bet on, including the upcoming NFL Draft.

Russian table tennis anyone?

“Shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic are affecting New Jersey’s gaming industry in ways that are unprecedented, and that will continue until the country begins to return to some semblance of normalcy,” said Dustin Gouker, lead research analyst for PlayNJ.com in an interview with CNBC.

New Jersey sportsbooks lost out on nearly $370 million in sports wagers in March thanks to the coronavirus cancellations and postponements, according to PlayNJ estimates.

The main attraction of the gambling world for the past month has been table tennis, said DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Johnny Avello. International table tennis matches have continued through global quarantines, and they’re one of the few live events that bettors can get legal odds on from sportsbooks in the U.S.

“Who would think that people would bet on table tennis point by point, in-game wagering, how many games they’re going to play, how many sets they’re going to go?” Avello said. “That’s the biggest phenomenon that’s I’ve seen out of everything we’ve done so far.”

All sportsbooks are somewhat limited on what they can offer because gambling odds and categories have to be approved by gambling regulation entities before they can go live to the public. DraftKings’ out-of-the-box bets have to be free, though winners can get actual money to spend on the site.

BetOnline, licensed internationally, does accept real money wagers on nearly all events under the sun.  Payouts often take under a few hours, even on Sundays.

TMZ.com recently spoke to a rep for BetOnline.ag who tells us they are running simulated NFL games on the "Madden 20" video game.

If you're unfamiliar, there's an option to allow a full computer simulation without any human influence.

In other words, a human can select the 2019 Packers to play the 2019 Chicago Bears ... and A.I. takes over from there, simulating the entire game -- every single play and even the weather conditions.

"We are getting as much action on them as an average non-nationally televised MLB game, believe it or not. Action keeps getting better daily."

One rep told TMZ, "I strongly believe simulated betting is here to stay, even once the big sports return."

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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