Sports betting market leaders: insightful information you should know about it

Sports betting market leaders: insightful information you should know about it

The last 18 months have been interesting for sport. For much of it, most sporting events played events behind closed doors. And for a lengthy period in 2020, professional sports around the globe were postponed or cancelled.

Despite the difficulties that COVID-19 has caused, sports betting remains popular. And while many land-based venues had to close, the online industry is thriving. 

But what is the biggest sports betting market, and who are the industry leaders? What are players wagering on? Let’s go into more depth and answer all three questions.

The Biggest Sports Betting Market

If you regularly keep up with online sports betting news, you’ll notice that the US has become more frequently mentioned. Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was repealed in 2018, the county’s market has grown significantly

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), operators in the US sports betting market generated $961 million between them in Q1 2021. That was a significant increase compared to last year – 270.2% higher, in fact. 

The amount that US sportsbooks collectively generated was also the highest-ever quarterly total for sports betting. In total, the vertical made up for almost a sixth of total gambling revenue in the country. 

The Q1 2021 revenue results in the US were also higher than in the entire year of 2019 when sportsbooks across the country brought in $908.8 million. Much of this can be attributed to more states regulating sports betting in their official legislation. 

Research from financial consulting firm PwC also revealed that 39% of adults in the US are either current or potential sports betting customers. 

Another country that regularly features in sports betting news in the UK. In the latest full tax year statistics available, the country’s remote market was responsible for £2.3 billion (c.$3.26 billion) between April 2019 and March 2020. Meanwhile, land-based sports wagering contributed £2.4 billion (c.$3.4 billion). 

Latin America is also a popular sports betting market and one of the fastest-growing on the planet. Sports betting statistics are difficult to find, mainly because much of Latin America is still a grey market. But one report by Btobet found that overall, gambling in this part of the world was worth an estimated $4.9 billion in 2017.We should also look at the size of sports betting in Europe as a whole. In the 27 EU member states and the UK, the sports betting market in 2019 generated €10 billion ($12.19 billion). The vertical made up 41% of online gaming revenue.

How Much Are Players Betting On Sports?

When looking at sports betting market leaders, it’s also important to consider how much players are betting on different events. The same AGA report above revealed that players in the US placed $12.97 billion on sports in Q1 2021. 

In March alone, Americans wagered $4.61 billion. That figure represents the highest ever total for any month on record. 

As for the UK, the average Brit gambles £2.57 per week. Over a whole year, this adds up to approximately £135.20. 

The Most Popular Sports to Wager On

In the UK, you’ll probably be unsurprised to learn that the sports betting market leader is football – or soccer if you’re from North America. 48.42% of online gambling revenue in the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) report linked above came from this sport, with horse racing a distant second at 28%. 

Besides football and horse racing, no other single sport in the UK made it anywhere near double figures of market revenue share. Tennis (5%) was the third largest, while ‘other’ accounted for 9.7%. 

But what makes the most significant sports betting market share in the US, where other sports remain more popular than soccer? 

For the 2020 Super Bowl alone, it was predicted that well over $6 billion would be bet on the event. And in 2021, that figure was expected to be around $4.3 billion. A sharp decline, yes, but people and states weren’t yet reeling from the pandemic in February 2020. 

Finding individual sports betting statistics by figures is difficult because each state has its own way of reporting. On top of that, the US has a lot of unregulated betting activity. But when reading sports betting news, you’ll notice that the National Football League (NFL) often does well. According to Statista, this at 61% had the highest sports betting market share in 2019. 

After the NFL was the National Hockey League (NHL – 58%) and Major League Baseball (MLB – 53%). 

Future Regulatory Changes

While it’s essential to look at the current sports betting market leaders, we should also remember that a lot will likely change over the next few years. 

Britain’s exit from the EU won’t impact its sports betting industry too much because the market is well-established and players love betting on their favourite teams. However, changing regulations in the country might. 

At the time of writing, the UK government is reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act. Significant changes are expected, with one possible outcome being the banning of gambling sponsorships in professional sports. 

In Europe, upcoming regulation for Germany means that the EU’s largest country by population will often make online sports betting news headlines. Unified legislation on gambling is set to come into force in 2021, and operators will – even with proposed restrictions – fancy their chances of success there. 

Latin America will be another particular area of focus. While regulation there is complex, signs that it will soon open up exist. Brazil’s long-awaited sports betting market, for example, should launch shortly. And when it does, operators will find a high-volume market obsessed with sports to tap into. 

And, of course, we can’t forget about the US. The country’s legal sports betting landscape continues to expand at a phenomenal pace. 21 states have some form of sports betting regulated, along with Washington DC. Meanwhile, nine have legalised the vertical – though their markets are not yet live. 

Who Is the Sports Betting Market Leader?

Despite the pandemic and regulatory challenges, sports betting remains popular worldwide. The US, in particular, is making big strides, with the vertical rapidly expanding across the country. 

There’s every reason to believe that the US will become the undisputed sports betting market leader if it isn’t so already. However, we shouldn’t discount more developed ones like the UK – where the demand will always exist. 

Elsewhere, Latin America and the big EU member states like Germany are worth keeping an eye on. And you can stay up-to-date with what’s going on by visiting our website for all the big online sports betting news as it happens.