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Bookmakers expecting record bets on virtual NFL draft

22nd April, 20:38

Betting experts say that this week's virtual NFL draft will be its most bet-on draft in history due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak forcing many sporting events to be canceled.

The CEO of sports betting site William Hill US told The Associated Press that this year's draft will see the most bets the event has ever seen, while FOX Bet estimated to the news outlet that the betting market could reach $20 million, 20 times what it usually totals.

"There's no doubt this will be the biggest-bet draft ever," said Joe Asher, William Hill US's CEO. "The draft is a time of renewal, and I think people are looking forward to a bit of fun after all of the tough news we've had recently. Betting on the draft is small in context, so this is no silver bullet, but it's something positive for sure."

The NFL draft usually results in bets totaling around the same amount as a regular season NFL game, an official with Rush Street Interactive, which operates betting site PlaySugarHouse, told the AP. This year, the site has already taken in as much as it did last year for the draft, while most bets are usually made the day of the draft. This year, the draft will be held over three days beginning Thursday.

"We're seeing a hell of a lot of interest, but at a lower average bet amount than we would see for a Super Bowl," said Jason Scott, head of trading at Roar Digital.

The league is planning on starting its regular season on time in September, officials said in late March.

Online sports betting is illegal in many states but allowed in a handful including New Jersey, where the majority of bets are placed.