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SHANGHAI, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) — The global sports industry is expected to slow annual growth to 3.3 percent in the next three to five years in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the Asian market shows robust momentum, according to global auditing and consulting firm PwC.

PwC’s Sports Survey 2020, released during the ongoing third China International Import Expo, predicts the industry’s growth in Asia to be around 7.3 percent, while sports betting is projected to become the major driver of revenue increase for the global sports industry.

As the pandemic has significantly accelerated the development of virtual entertainment, sectors like simulated sports and e-sports have seen golden opportunities. Simulated sports serve as an alternative for traditional outdoor sports during the epidemic, and thus rank first in terms of revenue growth potential.

There is also a rising trend in motor sports worldwide, probably thanks to the huge attention brought by flagship events such as Formula One and NASCAR races, said the survey.

It is estimated that mobile games will become a key part of future games and e-sports strategies. Therefore, in-depth cooperation between mobile game developers and sports organizations may lead to new business models.

The survey is based upon the views of 780 industry professionals from over 50 countries and regions between June and August this year, according to the company.

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