After a difficult Christmas with must of us stuck at home lounging about and no doubt feasting on a wealth of festive TV, one clear winner from this tumultuous festive period seems to be the bookies with research now suggesting they have now taken more bets on novelty events such as Strictly Come Dancing than ever before,
Since the start of March when the pandemic changed our lives dramatically, online betting exploded in popularity. With the news that High St bookies are closing in record numbers this has also meant that many UK punters have turned online and even ventured away from betting on traditional things like sport. In fact, betting on virtual sports increased significantly during the UK lockdown earlier this year.
When the festive period arrived, as Bookies looked to cash in, regular Rugby or Football punters were instead starting to wager on a whole host of Christmas events. In fact, Christmas Betting market data put together by WhichBookie outlined some of the weird and wonderful spectacles bookies were offering odds on during December.
Infographic by WhichBookie Christmas Betting Markets by WhichBookie
Wagering on Console sales
In 2020, rival games console companies Xbox and PlayStation brought out their latest high tech offerings, the PS5 and Xbox Series X respectively. As ever, when such mammoth machines hit the high street, there is a race to secure consoles for presents to make it a truly merry Christmas and the battle between loyalists of each console was in full swing with Uk bookies pricing the PS5 as odds on favourites to ship the most units (although official sale numbers have yet to be confirmed).
Christmas always means a day of fantastic movies and programmes, with families crowded around the television. Alongside the classics, reruns and Hollywood blockbusters, Christmas specials are increasingly commanding attention, and can draw in huge numbers. In 2019 for example the Gavin and Stacey special stole the show with a whopping 11.6 million views, and remarkably bookies have now started to take bets on which telly favourite will draw in the most viewers.
Of course, these are just examples of festive novelty betting but this trend of offering more novelty bets looks set to continue well in to 2021, particularly as there is no clarity when the full sporting schedule will return and more of us then ever last year had a flutter on the US presidential race.
What will the future hold?
The rise of Esports, as touched on earlier, is also posing a threat to those who like to wager on more traditional sports like Tennis and Golf.
Although it may not have been the merriest of Christmas’s for many, the bookies will have no doubt been pulling a few extra crackers or two and it will be interesting to see how the sports betting landscape develops this year now that punters have become accustomed at having a dabble om Bill Bailey to win a dancing show!