COVID-19

Ping pong, anyone? Sports fans find new games to bet on during the pandemic

Miles Bryan Jul 16, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Sports fans have had to look elsewhere for betting opportunities. Above, the final match of the Düsseldorf Masters table tennis competition. Lars Baron/Getty Images
COVID-19

Ping pong, anyone? Sports fans find new games to bet on during the pandemic

Miles Bryan Jul 16, 2020
Sports fans have had to look elsewhere for betting opportunities. Above, the final match of the Düsseldorf Masters table tennis competition. Lars Baron/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Sports fans need no reminder that most pro competitions they usually follow have been suspended or delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But while some sports are off, at least for the moment, mobile sports betting — in the 11 states plus Washington, D.C., where it is currently operational — has continued.

And the industry has been getting creative: Sports bettors have turned to Russian and Ukranian table tennis, as well as other lesser-known competitions like Taiwanese basketball and darts. Still, these fringe games aren’t making up for the absence of major sports. The total amount of money bet on sports online in Pennsylvania, for example, fell by about a third between March and May.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

It’s still the question on everyone’s minds: What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The $600-a-week payments have ended, officially, as of July 31. For now, there is no additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance. House Democrats want to renew the $600 payments. Senate Republicans have proposed giving the unemployed 70% of their most recent salary by this October, when state unemployment offices have had time to reconfigure their computer systems to do those calculations. Until then, jobless workers would just get another $200. But, nothing has been signed into law yet.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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