What Makes Football the Biggest Sports Betting Market in the World?

No matter where you are in the world, you will always find sports. Whether it’s baseball in North and Central America or cricket in Asia, it’s the opiate for the masses, However, there is one game that has caught the people’s, and gambler’s attention more than most – football.

Known as European football or soccer in some parts, around 70% of the estimated £435bn to £625bn per year was generated by football trading in 2013. Fast-forward eight years, and the industry has only cemented its position at the top of the global hierarchy.

But with so many rivals to compete with and an ever-changing market due to advancements in technology, how does football remain dominant?

Versatile Markets
Football has one of the biggest and most flexible betting markets available to gamblers. Although the majority of the rules apply whether you bet on basketball or golf, the fact is that there are more tournaments and competitions for punters to choose from when they gamble online, something that is evident when you view remote betting platforms. This online sports betting page highlights this by including markets relating to football, cricket, tennis, basketball and ice hockey, yet the number of available options concerning the last four is not as great as for football.

Once you click on the football tab, you instantly have the option to place bets on familiar markets, such as the Premier League, and unfamiliar ones, like divisions in the Middle East and South America. Combined with in-play betting, along with user-friendly features such as cashing out in-play, football has the edge over emerging markets, even if they are expanding rapidly.

The Most-Watched Sport
There is a direct link between the number of people who watch sports and how many wagers are placed. Gambling is an activity that adds excitement, which means people like to place small bets to make disinteresting games more watchable. Therefore, it makes sense that the sport with the biggest global reach has a hold on the sports betting market as a whole.

To put it into perspective, records show that 3.5 billion people watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, and 1.1 billion tuned in for the final alone. Yet, it isn’t only countries and regions that have an affinity with the game. In the US, support of the European brand is already high, but this is leading to a broader fan base within the country.

An example of this is the 27% rise in interest in the MLS from 2012. Since then, the sports betting industry’s value has only increased, with some experts projecting an $8.1 billion (£5.9bn) valuation by 2024.

A Head Start
It’s hard to argue against how football’s head start in the sports betting arena has seen it top the table in terms of betting revenue. While elements such as its fan base and market versatility are essential, the fact that the football sector was established early allows it to grow and appeal to more customers. And, even though rival markets are fighting back – US customers have spent over £10.4 billion since 2018 – it seems as if they are fighting against the tide.

In Summary
Football has a lot going in its favor, yet it can’t rest easy. The growth of certain niches will lead to challenges in the future. However, when that will be, and if they will be successful, is hard to tell.

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