The British sports betting industry dealt with the nightmare scenario of retail closures and an almost empty sporting calendar surprisingly well in 2020. But can it navigate the player interaction and Gambling Act reviews as well as it handled Covid-19?
In February 2020, before most people could have anticipated the scale of the impact the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) was to have on the British betting industry, or the wider world, William Hill chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson provided a prediction about how the growing crisis might affect his business.
When asked about the potential cancellation of Euro 2020, Bengtsson said it might “not necessarily [be] terrible for revenues”.
At the time, his forecast – of what seemed to be a worst-case scenario – seemed puzzling. Yet the next 10 months saw much more sport cancelled than anyone could have anticipated in February 2020, and while there was a significant revenue hit, Bengtsson’s early optimism seemed to be vindicated.
It turned out t..