Online platforms, mobile apps and reams of new legislation across the USA and the wider world. All these things have combined to transform sports betting from a shady activity conducted in the shadows to a mainstream pastime. When you think about it, there’s no better way to get behind your team than to place a small wager on them. It means you can share their joy – and their pain.
There are certain sports that automatically spring to mind when you hear mention of sports betting. But the truth is that you can bet on absolutely any sport. Which, though, do you think attract the most wagers? Read on, and prepare to be surprised.
No, that’s not football in the sense of millions wagered on the Super Bowl every year, it’s football according to the UK definition of the word. The point is, football (or soccer if you will) is the sport we’d be really good at if we played in some interplanetary sports event. It is the first truly global sport, and events like the World Cup touch every nation. Even in countries like India, where cricket reigns supreme, comparison sites like SportsBetting.net.in lists numerous bookies taking bets on everything from the EPL to MLS.
It might raise an eyebrow or two, as you can’t think of many nations that go crazy over tennis the way the British love their football or Indians go batty over cricket. Yet this is another sport that has an incredibly solid international following. In particular, each of the four majors attracts millions on bets from all over the world. It’s a little like have a Super Bowl every three months.
3) American Football
You knew it was coming. But think a moment. Given that sports betting is only just taking hold in the USA and the only pro league is American, it’s quite incredible American Football is third on our list. It’s testament to how successful the NFL has been in cultivating an international audience over the past couple of decades. Today, Super Bowl Sunday is a huge day in the sporting calendar all over the world, and that one game accounts for billions in wagers.
4) Horse racing
Did you expect this to be at number one? Horse racing is the sport most closely associated with betting, and although it cannot quite compete with those ahead of it in terms of sheer spectator volume, it is still a multi billion dollar industry. While bets are placed at race meetings all around the world every day, it is the big events like the Kentucky Derby and the Grand National that attract wagers from the casual spectators.
Fifth on our list, another sport that is predominantly US-based. True, there are also professional leagues across Europe, Asia and Africa that people bet on, but even in these regions, it is the NBA that attracts the lion’s share of the wagers.