The quadrennial global football tournament, known as the FIFA World Cup, is undoubtedly the world’s most popular sporting event. It glues millions of eyeballs to TV screens every four years, producing billions in revenues through various outlets. Its twenty-second edition is unfolding in Qatar from November 20th to December 18th. And it is the first competition organized in the Arab world and the second in Asia. Various outlets project that this is the most expensive World Cup to date, costing its host nation upwards of $220 billion. It is also unique in that it is the tournament with the highest betting accessibility in history.
Not only are more online gambling sites than ever around taking wagers on the 2022 World Cup, but in the past few years, there has also been a retail sports betting boom occurring. Both owed to governments legalizing the practice as a way to plug budget shortfalls stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis birthed by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Therefore, to generate new tax revenue streams, many countries have turned to legalizing gambling pastimes, predominately sports betting.
According to reports, the global gambling market grew at an annual compound rate of 58.9% from 2021 to 2022. Expectations are that it will hit a size of $876 billion by 2026, thanks to The increasing internet penetration and mobile device adoption acting as this market’s primary drivers. Industry experts also expect that the 2022 Qatar World Cup will significantly contribute to 2022 showing staggering betting numbers that will boost this sector’s bottom line to previously unseen heights.
Americans Will Bet $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup
The 2022 World Cup will be the first one following the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision to repeal PASPA. That move lifted the federal ban on sports betting in the United States. In the past four years, after this law went into the annals of history, over thirty US territories have allowed their residents to wager on sporting events. Thus, over 132 million Americans now live in regions where this pastime is legal. That is a staggering number compared to the ten million in 2018, during the 2018 Russia World Cup.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently projected that this year’s renowned football competition would cause around twenty million Americans to test their footie knowledge and instincts by wagering somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.8 billion on the tournament. The AGA is also proud to report that US bettors are taking legal gambling seriously, as 78% of all estimated bets will get placed at regulated sportsbooks.
The 2018 World Cup Saw Betting Action Up to $155 Billion
While the 2022 Qatar competition will definitely break records, going by an analysis from Sportradar, in conjunction with FIFA, the 2018 Cup saw an enormous $155 billion in bets get placed on its matches. That calculation derives from an analysis that factored in more than five hundred and fifty betting operators that got monitored by Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System.
The stats pulled in by this software suggest that the average match turnover in the 2018 competition was $2.4 billion, and the final generated $8.2 billion in betting funds laid on who was going to emerge triumphant. Croatia, which went up against France in the last match of the 2018 Cup, was a thirty-to-one underdog to win the tournament and saw substantial wagering interest as the event progressed.
It is also worth noting that many gambling operators saw an increase in 2018 Q2 revenues by 10% to 15% on account of that year’s World Cup, with UK’s Paddy Power Betfair reporting a 13% increase in the mentioned quarter.
The Online Sphere Should Set Records
In 2021, the internet gambling sphere generated revenues of $58.2 billion per a research study published by Custom Market Insights. It alleges that this market will continue to swell at a rate of 12% until 2030 when it should reach a value of around $146.6 billion. The study states that sports betting is one of this sphere’s most prominent sections. And its expansion will get boosted on account of growing wagering curiosity in sports like boxing, MMA, handball, and baseball.
The online industry is now seeking to brace itself for the incoming action on the most significant betting event of the year. Flutter products that its Ireland and UK brands will notch £300m staked on the Qatar World Cup. And other top-end European operators are expecting to see a 15% surge in betting compared to the 2020 (2021) UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. Naturally, a dramatic portion of these bets will get placed online at respected bookies. Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfair, Betway, Paddy Power, Sky Bet, and Bwin rank as the UK’s top brands, while FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings are the rulers of the US market.
2022 Qatar Betting Trends
For the first time in twenty years, Brazil is again the favorite to lift the World Cup trophy, with 19% of outright wagers on the Kambi network getting made on this South American football nation going all the way in the tournament. Argentina is the team with the second-most bets, and England’s Harry Kane, the country’s number nine, gets most favored to be the 2022 Cup’s Golden Boot winner. France’s Kylian Mbappé and Argentina’s Lionel Messi are also in the running, with many believing that they can also earn the top goal scorer honor.
A commonly held belief is that Argentina ranks among the competition favorites because this represents Messi’s last chance to win the Cup before he retires from international football. In his home country, 55% of Golden Boot winner bets have gotten placed either on him or his teammate Lautaro Martinez.
The 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup got viewed by 3.5 billion, and according to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and others, the 2022 Qatar championship should get more than five billion people to tune in to watch some of its matches. Thus, it stands to reason that it will generate massive betting interest, spurring this industry to register never-before-seen revenues.