Sports fans have seen the NBA and NHL suspend all operations in light of COVID-19 concerns while the MLB has postponed its opening day. Even the UFC has postponed three events. These changes have forced sports fans to search for unique ways to gamble. Now they are placing wagers on very surprising events that don't fit the traditional mold.
According to Odds Shark, bettors have been able to place wagers on Chilean basketball, Russian table tennis, and Brazilian Esports. These aren't the most likely options for gambling, but they are still competitive in nature. Rodger Sherman of The Ringer also revealed that it's possible to gamble on Turkish soccer and United States politics. Although betting on Joe Biden vs. Bernie Sanders is a far cry from betting on the NBA Finals.
Gambling hasn't simply been limited to video games, politics, or unique sports, however. Other fans on social media have posted memes on Twitter showing that they are adapting to life without sports by gambling on the weather.
The world of athletics has completely changed in recent weeks given that major events are either being rescheduled or canceled outright due to the coronavirus outbreak. Racing fans were left without anything to watch after NASCAR postponed the schedule until early May. Seven races will not be held as originally planned.
In order to prevent the lack of stock car racing, some NASCAR figures are working to organize some iRacing events. The first race, The Replacements 100, featured Dale Earnhardt Jr., William Byron, and several other drivers and crew members facing off in a digital playground. It didn't exactly fill the gap left by the postponed races, but the fans still enjoyed watching the race on Twitch.
Similarly, Major League Baseball announced on Monday that opening day will be delayed at least eight weeks. The earliest the season can now start is in May after originally being planned for March 26. Spring training was also put on hold in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans," the league said in its announcement. "MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."
Without sports available, fans have searched for different forms of entertainment. One option is marble racing, which drew attention in recent days. This pastime involves rolling several marbles down a dirt track and trying to predict which will cross the finish line first. One video even featured play-by-play commentary.
(Photo Credit: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)