Since 2019, sports betting is a three trillion dollar industry. But which are the top sports that people
bet on around the world? Football tops the charts but global attention on US sports is a lot more significant than most people realise. For example, the global
market for NBA basketball, NHL Hockey,and MLB baseball sat somewhere around 50 billion dollars (outside of legal US sports betting).
Of course, if you want to find the sport with lines and multiple betting options at
pretty much any top sportsbook around the world, then football is the top sport. There are seasons of course, but between all of the different leagues around
the world and national-level play, you can pretty much always find a good match taking place on a professional pitch somewhere in the world. If you add up all
the leagues and cup events each year, footballdid you know that its original name is soccer, its not just an Americanizationis by far the
best bet on sport around the globe.
Its not just the NBA and March
Madness that you can bet on. All though, March Madness is one of the singular most bet on and time consuming events in the United States. The Mens
College Basketball tournamentunderway right nowcauses more problems with inproductivity in the workplace than any other sport. People are
constantly filling out brackets, researching seeding history and matchups to adjust and of course, placing bets on the outcomes. The amount of
money placed on March Madness and the NBA Finals is massive. In 2019, the NCAA Tournament
recorded 8.5 billion dollars in bets and then the NBA Finals saw roughly 10 million dollars at legal US betting outlets per game alone, so the worldwide handle
for the NBA Playoffs is also in the billions.
Baseball is one of the
most popular sports in the world. Although
many dont realize it, its right up there with Cricket in world-wide popularity. Sure, the MLB, minor league ball, and college ball are all in the
USA, but Japanese and Tawainese leagues are massive in Asia, not to mention the Dutch are massively into baseball. The Netherlands national team has won the
Baseball World Cup twice in the last 10 events. Italy has won three times in the same time period. And of course, Latin American and Caribbean teams are always
a threat on a national level. Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, Columbia, the Dominican republic, Mexico, and Venezuela are all loaded with top talent. In the 2017 MLB
season, sportsbooks took in 1.1 billion dollars in Las Vegas alone.
American Football or just football as we here on the other side of the puddle call it, is gaining popularity around the world.
With 6.8 billion dollars handled on the singular match between the Kansas
City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers two years ago, this event is staggering. Its almost as big as the World Cup as 7.2 billion was bet on the final
between France and Croatia, so yeah if you think that NFL Playoffs and World Cup are not comparable think again.
So, when we think about
the numbers for that one game, the entire NFL playoffs are worth massive amounts of money; similar in total betting handle to the World Cup.
Boxing & MMA
One hundred million dollars was placed on the Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor fight in
Las Vegas a few years ago. When you add in UFC betting, combat sports account for quite a bit of money movements. If 100 million was bet legally in 2017, you
can imagine that around 95% of US Bettors had been gambling illegally, the actual volume of handle in the United States was much higher. On top of this,
Britain, Ireland, and many other countries were heavily interested in this fight, not to mention other big names such as Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Canelo,
and DeOntay Wilder.
Cricket gets a nod here. Although its not a
significantly followed sport in the Americas, pretty much everywhere else, cricket tests garner a lot of attention. We should also nod our head to the
hippodrome, because horse racing takes in a lot of money all over the world, particularly, the UK, USA, Australia, and Middle East.