In the wake of postponements and cancellations of mainstream sports across the nation, U.S. sportsbooks have been forced to expand into different betting markets and take some risks with sports and events not necessarily popular to the American sports fan -- sports that might shut down any minute.
Although all casinos in Nevada and many other states are closed, the growth of mobile betting has allowed some books to stay open and take action. Caesars Sportsbook, which is open for mobile betting in Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is currently taking action on Turkish soccer, where you can bet on Kayserispor (+690) vs Fenerbahce (-340) or a draw (+465).
At William Hill, the expanded list of offers includes Argentina's Superliga, Gibraltar's Premier Division soccer and Russia's National Football League. William Hill CEO Joe Asher told the Sports Business Journal: "It doesn't compare with what people want to bet on. But certainly some people are betting on that. We're just trying to do the best we can with the cards we've been dealt. People are clearly still interested in betting."
On Tuesday, Westgate Superbook posted odds on the women's All Pro Tour and The Cactus Tour, a mini tour comprised of women golfers to play outside the LPGA and The Symetra Tour (second tier tour). Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management and one of the lead golf oddsmakers said: "We were scouring the globe for anything that could offer our guests some entertainment at this difficult time". Right after the Paragon Casino Championship (All Pro Tour) went up, it was canceled.
And that's been a big obstacle facing oddsmakers -- once approval from regulators is received, the sport gets postponed or canceled. One oddsmaker said they had lower levels of English Soccer and German Bundesliga 2nd level approved and ready to go before the leagues shut down.
Sports currently awaiting regulatory approval for multiple casinos in New Jersey are the National Rugby League in Australia, Russia KHL Ice Hockey, Turkey Superlig basketball, chess, snooker and various esports contests.
Even sports that are seen as more traditional, such as UFC, saw a large increase in handle last weekend with handle up an estimated 50% compared to previous UFC cards with similar star power. More fights and markets were offered in what will likely be the last UFC fight for the coming weeks.
Daily fantasy sites are scrambling to find live sports to offer. FanDuel added UFC for the first time last Friday for Saturday's fights and then added a free-to-play game on the Democratic Debate Monday night. DraftKings greatly increased their prize pool for UFC contests and are featuring a Friday soccer game on Turkey's Kayserispor vs Fenerbahce.
Outside of live game action, NFL free agency and upcoming NFL Draft have helped the betting landscape with markets such as Tom Brady's next team, how many QBs will be taken in the first round and who will draft Tua Tagovailoa being offered. The NFL futures market remains open with odds to win the division, conference and Super Bowl all being offered. Circa Sports put up win totals last week, before free agency started and long before the NFL Draft.
ESPN's Mackenzie Kraemer contributed to this report.