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It hasn't been easy for anybody or any business the last month or so as COVID-19 continues to dominate every aspect of society. One industry particularly decimated by lockdowns and shutdowns is the exploding legal gambling industry in the US as it endures casino closures and the stoppage of nearly all Major Sports around the globe.


This weekend, eSports took center stage with the "NBA 2K20" Players-Only Tournament, an entertaining virtual replacement for real NBA action. The tournament tipped off Friday with a slate of four games, broadcast on... where else... ESPN


There were high hopes for the US legal sports betting industry for 2020 but COVID-19 has thrown everything out of whack including how much/how little individual state legislators are willing to consider wagering platforms in their state. The latest state to brush legal sports betting aside for 2020 is Kentucky, who passed their budget Wednesday without any mention of the tax revenue expected to be generated by a wagering platform.


The hearty state of Colorado is plowing ahead with their plans to officially launch a legal sports betting platform May 1 despite the sports world, outside of Belarussian soccer, darts, eSports and a few other minor pro leagues being completely shut down because of COVID-19.


With the sports betting cupboards barren thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the sportsbook world has been forced to look elsewhere to engage their customers. The latest effort comes from IMG Arena and The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) who have teamed up to create the first officially branded virtual tennis game.


Leading business-to-business supplier of internet gambling software, GAN isn't letting coronavirus get in the way of US expansion. The passing of HB 4311 into law in December, 2019 has opened up a Michigan sports betting market that boasts a population of 10 million and the Detroit Lions of the NFL, the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA, the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and two of the most successful college programs in the US.


Sportsbooks in the US are starting to show the effects of weeks of shutdown thanks to a coronavirus pandemic that has virtually paralyzed life as we know it. Companies, including Penn National, are in the midst of making tough decisions and adapting to the new norm facing all of us during this troubling time.


Lawmakers in Washington State proved this week that the people we elect to office CAN actually walk and chew gum at the same time. Somehow, the state managed to send sports betting legislation to Governor Jay Inslee's desk while at the same time navigating the realization that their state remains one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak currently dominating every aspect of American society.


Adaptation has become a theme during this time of global uncertainty and that's what sportsbooks around the globe are embracing with their necessary move into the eSports realm. With sports leagues all over the globe shutting down due to the coronavirus, rabid sports betting fans have been searching for an outlet. 


Lockdown and quarantine are words that NO American wants to hear but in the case of some in charge of the online gambling industry, those utterances have been a dagger. On the bright side, they may act to further prove to some present and future bet-friendly states the worth of what is the obvious future of betting business - online gambling.


A year ago the thought of replacing bets on March Madness or the start of the MLB season with eSports, politics or chess would have gotten you laughed out of your local casino but that is where we are - in unprecedented times with zero sports, being forced to seek entertainment without any social contact.


2020 had potential to be an enormous year for the legal sports betting industry but it was always a given that the window was only open for a finite period of time. With state legislators plunging themselves into full-throttle election mode later this year, lawmakers gave themselves a relatively small amount of time to get something hammered out for their states.


It's slim pickings out there for sports bettors but that hasn't stopped sportsbooks from dreaming up some new lines to keep all of us bored, self-isolated humans that just want some action during this unprecedented time of non-action. Innovation and adaptation are the orders of the day as we all try to cope with a new reality that nobody has quite figured out yet.


Washington DC dysfunctional? In the latest head-scratching move out of the Nation's Capital, DC’s Office of Lottery and Gaming announced that they would be moving forward with the launch of their sports betting app, despite a total lack of sports to wager on. It's been a long road for legal sports betting proponents in DC - they had hoped to launch before the 2019 NFL season but controversy and lawsuits squashed that dream.


Some of you may be asking: "Did lawmakers in Montana count their money at the table? “or "Did they pick unlucky #13 at the roulette table?" The bad-luck, slow road to legal sports betting in Montana finally ended with the launch of Sports Bet Montana last week, unfortunately coinciding with the shutdown of every Major sports league on the planet.


Coronavirus has thrown a huge wrench into many peoples' lives. Holidays have been canceled, schools are shut down and stores are either closing or reducing hours in order to combat the spread of the nasty bug. While major sports leagues around the world are doing the right things, new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday night suggest that our planet could be without our beloved sports for longer than initially thought.


Craving some much-needed good news coming out of the sporting world? Look no further than the new collective bargaining agreement announced Sunday between NFL players' union and league owners. After a ton of controversy, not even a world-wide pandemic could stop the 11-year, 400-page labor-peace deal from passing - albeit by a slight, slight margin.


The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is out with its February betting numbers and to nobody's surprise, they are very good. Buoyed by an extra Leap-Year Saturday and the Super Bowl, New Jersey was able to record its fourth-largest monthly total handle since legal sports betting began there in June 2018.


As the coronavirus situation grips the globe, sports fans and wagering enthusiasts are forced to find other ways to keep themselves busy. No gatherings, no sports and no timeframe as to when we will see our athletic heroes do what they do best. That is what we are faced with for at least a month and possibly longer.


Big players in the US Legal Betting Market watch out! Little old Indiana is making some waves with their newly released February handle and it shows that growth in that state is outpacing some of the Big States that have a legalized sports betting platform.


It is amazing what a little pressure will do to a legislative body! Just days after Maryland's neighbor Virginia paved the way for a legal sports betting platform in their state, Maryland’s Senate passed their own set of rules, clearing the way for legalization.