The latest stats place the worldwide sports betting volume at about 35%, the highest of all gambling activities, and a monetary estimate of half a trillion dollars. This includes revenue from licensed online casino sites, offshore sportsbooks, and local bookmakers. With such massive numbers, we can already imagine the cult following that some of these sports have. The number of bettors that visit a single provider could number in the hundreds of thousands. Technology has been of great assistance, allowing access through multiple platforms, including desktops, mobiles, and tablets. Add to that the plethora of betting markets and options for the avid punter on numerous sportsbooks.
These sports have won the interest of players worldwide, not just for their availability, but the good chances of winning. Because they have a massive following, the odds on offer tend to be very competitive. So you are minimizing risks, maximizing revenue, and getting the best value for your money.
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On a global scale, football is the most talked-about sport and is practiced in the majority of countries. Many people troop from far and wide to the playing field to watch their favorite teams, and many others follow devotedly through live streaming on their television screen or portable devices. One of the greatest appeals of this sport is that the betting options are mostly straightforward, with players choosing to bet simply on the home team, the away team, or a draw. Pro bettors often dabble into the more technical bets showcasing their expert handicapping skills.
The major football event is the World Cup. In 2018, a total of 3.572 billion people tuned in to watch, and according to FIFA reports, it got an estimated $136 billion worth of wagers. Football matches are always available throughout the year. After the major league season, many minor league matches remain scheduled, providing constant betting action for the avid punter.
With icons like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, Tennis has become increasingly popular over the years, making it one of the best sports betting markets today. Tournaments such as the US Open, the French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon held in the UK, see thousands of viewers each year, many of which are also punters. Tennis betting options are some of the easiest for newbies. Bettors typically choose to predict the winner of a match, and the absence of the tie bet increases the odds of winning. In-play betting has been especially favorable for tennis bettors as it is more convenient to bet on each individual set as the match progresses.
It might not seem like it in the digital age we live in, but horse racing fad is still waxing strong. Technology, in fact, has contributed to the evolution of the game. Punters no longer have to visit the racetrack to place their bets, although the majority still enjoy the adrenaline of being present at the tracks. The Grand National and the Kentucky Derby are two of the biggest events. The former draws nearly 600 million viewers from about 120 countries every year, while the latter received more than $250 million in wagers on last year’s event alone.
When it comes to total betting handle, the National Football League (NFL) is the top league in the US market. NFL fixtures are now a staple on offshore sites, thereby transcending the domestic front. The Super Bowl gathers a tremendous crowd following every year, and the 2020 event saw nearly $7 billion in wagers on the final game, as recorded by the American Gaming Association. As online sports betting is getting legalized in many US states, it is expected to stir an increase in betting volume for the sport.
Numerous basketball leagues are available in several countries, but America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) is the biggest of them all. Most NBA wagers are spread bets, where punters choose by how many points a team will lose or win a match. The NBA finals are viewed by over 20 million people each year, and it is safe to assume that the betting volume is just as big.
Another major basketball event is March Madness, where the best US college football leagues battle out for over a month, through 67 games. According to the Gaming Association, the event generally receives around $8.5 billion in wagers every season.
Known as the sport for the rich and powerful, Golf may not seem like an obvious choice, but the betting opportunities here will dwarf those of most other sports. At a golfing event, there are usually about 78 players on the course at all times. And the betting format allows for numerous odds and variable outcomes for each player throughout the event’s duration, which generally lasts three or four days.
Boxing did not cease to exist after the era of Mohammed Ali, as many assume. However, when football, tennis, and the NFL shot up the ranks, the sport inevitably experienced a huge drop-off. Thanks to the onset of pay-per-view boxing matches, its fanbase is growing strong and expanding to other areas of the world. More eyes have been turning to boxing in recent times with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Andy Ruiz Jr. as the hottest heavyweight champions. The most anticipated matches see wagers worth millions of dollars placed in a single sportsbook.
Rugby is a fast-rising sport which is now played in over 30 countries worldwide. So many variables are available to choose from, and the onset of live betting allows punters to take greater advantage of the betting opportunities. 2019 was the best year Rugby ever had, as the World Cup event made history with over 850 million viewers and the greatest volume of betting the sport had ever seen. Hopefully, it will only continue to climb up the betting charts.
Here we have a sport that’s a quiet contender. Unlike soccer and the NFL, it doesn’t create much of a rave, but based on reports by the Cricket governing body, the 2019 Cricket World Cup recorded an audience of 1.6 billion people. The Asian market is probably the largest for this sport with India as the world leader, but England and Australia also have massive followings. We don’t have all the figures, but a little bird told us that over $71 million was wagered on the Indiana Premier League final game at a UK sportsbook.
Formula 1 Racing
The motorsport series has an increasing fanbase, and the highest class of single-seater auto racing is none other than Formula 1. The FIA Formula One World Championship has remained the premier racing event since 1950. Viewers fly in from all corners of the world to watch the fastest road course racing cars in action, and betting on the possible winner has long been a common practice both on and off the books.
Besides the World Championship, several Grand Prix events are held throughout the racing season. With such expensive cars, F1 is certainly a high profile sport, but this in no way affects the betting level. Punters can visit the best sportsbooks and place bets of all ranges on their favorite teams or individual drivers.