There’s no need for a special occasion for sports betting fans to take their chances. Any off-season match between two underdogs is already enough for some gamblers to have a good time. Still, some competitions just can’t be missed for both the occasional and regular players. In this article, we’ll talk about each of them and understand why they’re so popular.
Same Passion, Different Rules
Sports betting has been around since at least the ancient Greeks. Yet, many countries have unfriendly policies towards gambling. Indeed, rules may vary even among countries that have regulated the activity. In countries like Finland, for instance, the activity is legalised but also heavily regulated. Still, Finnish gamblers have a lot of options of casinos and sportsbooks to choose from.
While preferences may change locally, some competitions attract fans from all over the world. Read more about them below.
FIFA World Cup
Football remains one of the most popular sports globally. It’s a competition that involves the best national teams and the best players of the moment. The last edition, in 2018, has attracted more than 3.5 billion viewers for all the 64 matches. The estimated betting volume for this competition is even more impressive: $136 billion. The final match alone attracted $7.2 billion.
However, football fans don’t have to wait four years to bet on their favourite game. Many other exciting competitions are happening every year, at national and continental levels.
NFL Super Bowl
In terms of global interest, the Super Bowl lags far behind football competitions. Still, it’s a roaring success in the United States and attracts fans from across the globe. In 2015, the match reached its all-time high viewership. The famous league was broadcast to 180 countries and more than 20 languages.
The Super Bowl has a few exclusive attractions for bettors. Examples include the halftime show, coin toss, and other small bets that keep all levels of gamblers engaged during the game. Last year, a single match between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs received 7 billion dollars.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States, in a tight dispute with American football. The NBA league is one the most-watched national leagues of this sport, but there are other big ones, even inside the United States. College basketball is also gaining a lot of space, and March Madness is the biggest one.
According to the American Gaming Association, over 45 million Americans gamble during this competition that lasts one month. It means a betting volume of nearly 9 billion dollars. Although March Madness’s games aren’t as popular as Super Bowl’s, they could attract almost twice its betting volume.
Cricket World Cup
It can be surprising for some readers, but cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s incredibly famous in India, Bangladesh, Australia, and other countries of that region. 1.6 billion fans watched the last edition of the Cricket World Cup, but when it comes to cricket betting it’s the Indian Premier League attracts huge sums, especially towards the final games.
Kentucky Derby/The Grand National
Horse racing is one of the most traditional sports in the sportsbooks. The Grand National is an English race that’s followed by royalty. Not only the Queen follows it, but also about half a billion people, over 120 countries. The Kentucky Derby isn’t as traditional, but it’s still one of the main horse tracks in the United States.
Eyes in the Future
The landscape of the sports betting market is changing. Gamblers can also take their chances on virtual games online that have nothing to do with traditional sports. These games are called “electronic sports”, or simply “eSports”. eSports competitions are growing in number, professionalism, and viewership. Check below some of the main competitions of this niche.
League of Legends World Championship
LoL is definitely the most played online game of the moment. The game developed by Riot Games has no less than 100 million players every month. Unsurprisingly, LoL World Championship is among the most-watched eSports competitions, also attracting loads of young gamblers.
Counter-Strike is one of the most traditional online shooting games around. It was launched in 1999 as a modification of the original Half-Life. The version played in this tournament is called Counter-Strike – Global Offensive. Valve also powered this event, and it’s second only to League of Legends in popularity, prizes, and betting volume.
The International, also known as TI, is an annual tournament with 16 teams organized by Valve. The match revolves around the game Dota 2 and even counts with qualifier rounds by region. Valve partially funds the prize money, and the rest is added via crowdfunded, using part of the Battle Pass sales. Last year, the prize was $25,532177.
Regardless of your sport of choice, information is key for conscious and educated betting. Specialists suggest new gamblers pick sports with which they have at least some affinity. It’ll make it easier to do the necessary research for placing a solid wager.