A recent in-depth report by Slotegrator proves that the sports betting industry is expanding fast and predicts the sports betting market will reach over $140 billion by 2028 globally. Sports betting platforms have to keep up with the increase in sports events, leagues, and tournaments.
The growing market is driven by expanding digital infrastructure and the penetration of connected mobile devices. The COVID-19 pandemic caused land-based bettors to shift to online betting platforms, and sports bettors could conveniently participate by placing bets on their mobile devices and PCs.
Global Sports Betting Trends
Sports betting platforms have become very innovative and compete to offer the best online experience to their customers. Most online bets are on football, baseball, basketball, tennis, cricket, boxing, hockey, and around 70% of all wagers globally, are placed on soccer.
Horse racing, esports, and non-athletic events also show significant interest amongst online gamblers. Customers tend to bet on sports they are familiar with, and some sports are more prevalent in some regions than others.
Providers invest in research and development activities to introduce online sports betting market innovations. They focus on the most popular local sports in their country of residence and the international sports markets that appeal to bettors.
Popular Sports Betting in the USA
According to Slotegrator, football is undoubtedly the most popular sport to bet on in the US, with the NFL making up nearly half of all sports bet placed. In Nevada alone, bettors spent $138.48 million betting on the NFL in 2017. In addition, this event is the most-watched sporting event globally and ranks as one of the most popular international events to bet on worldwide.
The annual NCAA basketball tournament, MLB baseball championship, and the NBA basketball championship are the three other most popular betting events. Americans love betting on other sports like hockey, tennis, golf, combat sports, and horse racing.
Federal law unbanned sports betting in 2018, and since then, the US sports betting industry has exploded and will continue to expand.
Popular Sports Betting in Australia
Aussie punters are passionate about horse racing, and an estimated 76% of Australians bet on thoroughbreds. Daily events occur throughout the country, giving bettors multiple opportunities to wager their bets.
One of the favourite sports in Australia is Rugby, and the NRL is at the top of most punter's betting lists.
Australian bettors favour their national sport, cricket, and won't miss an opportunity to bet on local or international matches. Field hockey, tennis, motorcycle racing, Aussie football, and golf are also popular sports for online betting.
Popular Sports Betting in Europe
In Europe, sports betting accounts for the most significant part of the overall online gross gambling revenue. The European betting market follows global trends, and most bettors place their wagers on football. In addition, most bookmakers offer hundreds of markets for international and smaller local events.
Basketball and tennis betting are very popular, says Slotegrator, and bettors have a vast selection of market choices. In addition, horse racing betting is popular in some parts of Europe, and boxing matches and MMA are bet on while watched live in many regions.
Popular Sports Betting In Asia
Like most other countries globally, the Asian betting market has grown significantly, with football as the most popular sport. Bettors are eager to place their football bets online with each championship, tournament, world cup, and local event.
Besides basketball and tennis, Asians love betting on table tennis, and it draws enormous spectatorship as it is an exciting game to watch live and a simple sport to wager on online.
We cannot mention Asia without highlighting esports, as Asians occupy the most ambitious esports market. Many basketball and football clubs have bought their teams for games like League of Legends, CS:GO, and Dota2. If the rise of this market continues, esports may soon be more prevalent in Asia than traditional sports.
Popular Sports Betting in Africa
Slotegrator confirmed what we all know to be true of South African sports betting; rugby reigns supreme! This fact comes as no surprise given that the Springboks famously won the World Cup in 1995, 2007, and 2019. Of these wins, it is the '95 victory that means most to the country as apartheid had been abolished in 1994. Bringing home the World Cup played a significant role in bringing the nation together. African sports betting sites also offer odds on the annual Africa Cup and major international tournaments like the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Soccer is a popular sport throughout Africa, but African bettors prefer betting on cricket. In South Africa, the Proteas are considered one of the best cricket teams globally and offer an excellent opportunity for bettors to partake in international events.
Horse racing betting is a trendy sport, and betting fans await the annual Summer Cup, the Durban July Handicap, and the Cape Metropolitan Stakes.
Popular Sports in Other Countries
- South America: Football, baseball, basketball, and cockfighting
- Canada: Ice hockey, basketball, boxing, and football
- UK: Football, tennis, and horseracing
- India: Cricket, horse racing, football, hockey, and kabaddi
Sports Betting on the Rise
Sports betting is a massive global market, and surprisingly Slotegrator found that Japan is the largest one of all, followed by the UK and Australia. With betting legalized in many states, the USA and Canada will significantly contribute to the future global market.
Digital betting has caused a significant increase in sports fans, and in turn, online betting has attracted huge numbers due to betting being available online. As a result, watching sports and sports betting are in high demand regardless of country, continent, or nationality.
New sports betting sites launch every year, and as online betting is legalized in more countries globally, the numbers will only grow. Sports betting is considered the niche of online betting and expects to dominate the market in 2025.