By  Erik Gibbs

It always helps to look at any negative situation through a positive lens. As damaging as the coronavirus has been around the world, recovery is going to happen, and things will return to normal. In fact, for the gambling world, things could be better than normal. Although the sports industry was body-slammed by COVID-19 in March and sportsbooks have been left twiddling their thumbs, the sports gambling market is most likely going to emerge stronger and larger than ever – sorry, Shelly. According to recent data provided by Morgan Stanley, the number of people downloading sports gambling applications has skyrocketed and this is going to lead to a substantial greater number of wagers once sports gets back on its feet between this month and September.

When March rolled around and sports activity starting falling off, there was a logical decrease in sports wagers that followed. However, sports gamblers still wanted to get in on the action and, even though they couldn’t travel to casinos because of state lockdown orders, sports gambling applications saw an 18% rise in downloads by new users, according to Morgan Stanley’s Thomas Allen. Last month, though, amid the worst month in the history of sports, there was a 12% decrease in downloads. Coming off that slide, and in anticipation of a sports rebound in the US, May saw an increase of 212% in sports gambling app downloads.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before sports can make a full return in the US. Most of the major leagues, with the exception of MLB, have been able to figure out their game plans and are expected to see competitions starting sometime later this month or July. MLB is the only organization still on the fence, as team owners and players refuse to budge on how they want to see the action resume. Fortunately, though, there is still a lot of football, basketball, hockey, tennis and more action coming down the pipe, so baseball won’t necessarily be missed.

Probably not too surprisingly to many, DraftKings and FanDuel lead the way in sports gambling app downloads. Apart from having a solid presence across the country, they are inarguably two of the most well-known names in the field and are ready to lead the way toward more legalized sports gambling across the US. DraftKings is taking the nation by storm, giving both sports gambling fans and investors a lot to be thankful for.

In addition to the two leading sports gambling and fantasy sports players, Fox Bet, MGM/GVC and William Hill have seen interest in their sports gambling apps. Smarkets is starting to see a greater response to its app, and is also busy working on new deals to expand across the country. As long as there aren’t any major setbacks, such as a federal court arbitrarily siding with the Department of Justice on its Wire Act stance, sports gambling is going to become a prominent part of the landscape in the US, just like it has been in Europe and elsewhere for decades.

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