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William Hill US CEO: Sports betting "fell off a cliff;" now it's a "proverbial feast"

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher says US sports wagering in August has been an untypically busy time for the industry due to pent-up demand.

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Major sport in the US came to a standstill through the second quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellations across American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey and more.

College sports are still not going ahead in the US but the return of professional leagues within the last couple of months has significantly boosted business, according to the William Hill US CEO.

Asher told Yahoo Finance: “It’s been a proverbial feast; a very busy time in our business. August is typically a slow time but obviously it’s very different this time around with baseball starting back up in July and the basketball and hockey playoffs."

During the worst-affected months of the pandemic, Asher says sports betting handle "fell off a cliff," gradually returning as individual sports came back.

He explained: “When the major sports shut down, business fell off a cliff and started to trickle back little by little, with Nicaraguan and Belarusian soccer; and the volume of Russian table tennis betting blew everyone away in the industry.

“The UFC coming back made a big difference. Now, people have tended to go back to the tried and true sports but other smaller sports are still getting a fair bit of play.”

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