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

Miles Bryan Jul 16, 2020
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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
Heard on:
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

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.

U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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