The Sporting Events with the Biggest Betting Volume


From the FIFA World Cup to the Grand National and the Super Bowl, punters can place a bet on dozens of sports events or tournaments. These events attract millions of punters worldwide, transforming the sports betting market into a multi-billion-dollar industry. But which events attract the most attention in online and local sportsbooks?

Here’s a preview of the five most popular sports betting events by betting volume worldwide at both online sportsbooks and land-based bookmakers.

The FIFA World Cup

With football being the world’s most popular sport, it makes sense that the FIFA World Cup ranks as the biggest event in betting volume. In fact, experts estimate that football accounts for at least 70% of the multi-billion-dollar sports industry, with at least 60% of sports punters wagering on the FIFA World Cup.

Occurring every four years, the FIFA World Cup tournament stands as the ultimate competition in any sports calendar worldwide. The one-month-long competition brings together the best teams in the world and presents plenty of betting opportunities at the Betway legal sportsbook.

This competition pits together 210 countries in the qualifying rounds, taking them through several stages to book a spot in the final 32. That presents football bettors across the world with a wealth of betting markets at every step of the competition. As a result, sports betting experts estimate that the FIFA World Cup tournament accounts for at least $260 million in betting revenue during every iteration.

The Super Bowl

Focusing on the American betting market, the National Football League (NFL) reigns supreme. Beyond the American betting market, the Super Bowl attracts millions of fans across the globe every year. This premier basketball event accounts for over 40% of all NFL wagers at legal sportsbooks like Betway every season.

For instance, the 2018 Super Bowl (LII) featuring the Eagles against the Patriots accounted for $158.6 million in Nevada sportsbooks. Of course, these figures account for only legal sportsbooks in Nevada, with almost $1.5 billion reported by sportsbooks collectively worldwide.

March Madness

Besides the Super Bowl, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) presents plenty of betting action worldwide. This premier collegiate competition brings together 68 teams battling it out across seven single-elimination rounds for a month with the hope of being crowned the national champions.

According to the American Gaming Association, the NCAA basketball tournament accounts for over $7 billion in annual global betting revenue. However, market experts estimate that over $300 million is wagered on illegal betting avenues during March Madness.

Kentucky Derby

Horse racing is deeply ingrained in the world’s sports betting culture, with the Kentucky Derby being the most popular option for bettors. During the 2019 itineration, this premier horse racing event attracted over $250 million in bets globally. This race had surprising results for sports bettors, as long-shot Country House emerged victorious against all odds.

UEFA Champions League

Organized every year, the UEFA Champions League is a premier soccer competition that brings together the top European teams battling it out from June to May. This competition commands a loyal following worldwide, with football bettors eagerly waiting for the chance to bet on the action. 

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