The Dashing Growth of the Sports Betting Market Worldwide

The Dashing Growth of the Sports Betting Market Worldwide
The Dashing Growth of the Sports Betting Market Worldwide
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The growth of sports betting seemed difficult to analyze throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world of sports shuttered in 2020, sports gambling statistics ground to a halt.

The sports betting industry recouped over the past two years—sportsbooks and gambling companies back in business show unprecedented expansion and massive growth.

The worldwide sports betting and lottery market totaled $194.63 billion in 2021.

How much is the sports gambling industry worth today?

Let’s take a closer look.

Key Takeaways

The sports betting market size grew out of a monumental U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018. Repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA) led to a boom.

Many states in the U.S. legalized sports betting through land-based casinos or online apps. Today, more than 30 states offer some form of sports betting, including Washington, D.C.

Here are some key takeaways for the global sports betting market:

  • Betting handle doubled in 2021 to more than $52.7 billion (U.S.)
  • Revenue in 2021 totaled $4.33 billion (U.S.)
  • There are now over 25,000 businesses.
  • Growth may occur at a rate of 10.3% per year between 2022-2032
  • The industry might be worth an estimated $144.34 billion by 2026
  • By 2030, the industry may gain $182.12 billion in total revenue
  • Market size amounted to $231 billion in 2022

Most Trendy Betting Activities

Betting activities among gamblers differ depending upon the region. For example, football remains popular in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Gamblers in the U.K. and Europe also prefer horse racing.

Due to its sheer size, Asia remains the most dominant location for worldwide betting. The region accounted for 30% of the global sports betting market share in 2021.

China’s region of Macao (Macau) is a thriving epicenter of casino gambling. The top sports lotteries to bet on there in 2021 were:

  • Football (415 million patacas)
  • Basketball (214 million patacas)
  • Horse racing (47 million patacas)
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Online sports betting remains a top industry trend in the U.S., with an estimated 19 million bettors. By 2025, online sports betting revenue may be worth three times that of land operations.

In December 2021, more than half of regular sports bettors in the U.S. (51%) used DraftKings. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed claimed they used FanDuel.

In Europe, soccer remains the most popular sport to bet on. Italy bettors wagered an estimated 11.84 billion euros on the sport in 2021.

Football (soccer) accounted for 23% of the global sports betting market share in 2021. Horse racing, basketball, and baseball came next.

Top sports betting companies include:

  • Bet365
  • 888 Holdings Plc
  • Churchill Downs Incorporated
  • William Hill Plc
  • WynnBET

Offshore Betting

While the legal sports betting industry thrives, offshore betting remains popular as ever. These sportsbooks exist in Costa Rica, Malta, Gibraltar, and the Bahamas.

Depending on your location, offshore betting sites might be illegal.

These sites function in a legal gray area. Some jurisdictions may be much more strict than others.

For many bettors, offshore betting sites represent the only option for gambling.

Professional leagues and the American Gaming Association seek to halt offshore gambling.

The AGA pegged the total amount of illegal sports bets to be worth an estimated $150 billion annually. Authorities claimed internet searches for offshore sportsbooks rose by 40% in 2021.

Sports betting legalization seems to have only increased the popularity of offshore betting.

Make sure to conduct your research when looking for the best offshore betting sites.

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The Legal Market

The legal sports betting markets worldwide include the U.S., U.K., Macau, Australia, and South Africa. The Gambling Act 2005 in the U.K. set the tone for online wagers.

From there, the legal market spread to the U.S. Once PASPA got repealed, a Gold Rush scenario swept the nation.

The top states for sports betting include New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

European countries that allow sports gambling include Finland, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.

Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay allow sports betting. Elsewhere in Latin America, it remains restrictive. As for Africa, South Africa and Nigeria are the only reputable options.

Currently, the U.S. market offers massive potential among the top sports betting companies. DraftKings and FanDuel maintain near-monopolies in the country.

Other popular legal options include Caesars, BetMGM, BetRivers, and PointsBet.

As of May 2022, Americans wagered more than $125 billion on sports since the repeal of PASPA. Sportsbooks took in about $8.8 billion in revenue during those four years.

New York’s legal sports betting market went live on January 8 this year. After six months, the state reported over $300 million in tax revenue from online sports bets.

That number represented the highest figure among any U.S. state. It might also be a precursor for legalization in markets like California and Texas.

Sports betting went live in Arizona in September 2021. The state reported $55.2 million in revenue from its sportsbooks in May 2022. In March, Arizona sportsbooks received a record $691 million in the betting handle.

The U.S. remains the epicenter of the global sports betting market.

How Tech Has Risen This Industry

Technology drives growth in the sports betting industry through mobile and desktop applications. Advancements include safe payments and live-streaming options.

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That includes Google allowing sports betting smartphone apps on its Play Store. Apple permits them for iOS users, too.

Gambling companies, sports leagues, and media corporations also form partnerships. Using data analytics, these companies deliver live-betting opportunities to increase betting volume.

Bettors may soon be able to place wagers right from their TVs. They could watch odds change in real-time after goals, kickoffs, faceoffs, or three-pointers.

Technology also improves security and data integrity for sportsbooks and bettors. Savvy web-based platforms continue to get better as well by analyzing betting habits.

Future trends in sports betting include blockchain technology and virtual reality (VR). Enhancing user experience to keep gamblers interested continues with these innovative pursuits.

Bettors may make deposits and receive withdrawals without using traditional banking methods. Bitcoin sportsbooks and offshore sites allow gamblers to use crypto for their wagers.

With a VR headset, gamblers may enter live sporting events in a simulated environment. There they interact with friends as they watch the game unfold.

Sports betting might evolve in the metaverse among gamblers in a social environment.

Modern technology and mobile wagering transformed the sports betting market worldwide. Gamblers can bet on sports anywhere around the world without ever leaving home.


The growth of sports betting comes from legalization efforts. Regulations usher in a litany of gambling companies advertising their services.

Offshore betting markets also grew in popularity for those left out.

Forecasters continue to predict a rosy future for the sports betting industry. The global sports betting market may experience a boom for at least the next decade.

There’s hardly been a better time to bet on sports with massive opportunities.

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