It’s looking like UK sporting events are making their way back as the Premier League gets underway again today, but recent changes within betting regulation and protection may lead to fantasy leagues becoming more of a fan favorite – these have already been growing in popularity in recent years, but the regulation changes may be a catalyst for further growth.
Many within the UK may have already heard of the Gamstop initiative – launched to help reduce the number of problem gamblers within the country by providing a self inclusion space which would reduce participation options for these players, and whilst there are a number of bookies not with gamstop that players could use to bet on these events, but other changes could also have an impact – namely the credit card ban for betting that was also put into place in April.
These changes may be a big part in a resurgence for fantasy leagues in general, as players look for an alternative to some of the changes that may block them from betting in a way that they’re used to, they provide an opportunity to keep the excitement of betting but in a more involved way.
It’s important to note that the return of football comes at an enhanced schedule too, to meet the deadline of having all games played through by the September deadline so preparations can be made for the 20/21 season require the current schedule pace to be picked up, meaning fantasy football fans are going to have many more games played per week – in other parts of Europe such as Germany, this has been a schedule of up to eighteen games per week and similar will likely be expected in the Premier League too.
Another factor behind growth in fantasy leagues may be the increasing desire to feel connected to the games in some way – it seems that ‘ghost games’ or games played without fans in attendance will remain in place for a longer period of time as social distancing measures aren’t set to change in a big way, this sets the stage for players within fantasy leagues to feel more involved with the games they love again, for the time being, this could also translate further as if fantasy leagues do gain a strong foothold they will be able to hold that audience once stadiums reopen and allow attendance once again.
Either way, there’s a lot to be excited for – the biggest four leagues in Europe and underway again, although France is missing out here. Other big sports are also on their way back as the F1 is just around the corner, UK horse racing is back, and events in the US are also set to get underway again with the first confirmation coming from the NBA as they aim for the end of July.
If you’re a sporting fan, it’s finally a breath of good news after almost three months of very little happening, and providing a unique opportunity where a lot of results could be much more up in the air than usual.