The Most Popular Sports for Gambling Worldwide

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There is no denying that sports betting is an international phenomenon, with fans and adherents throughout the world. A billion-dollar global industry, sports betting draws hobbyists and pro-earners, high rollers and everymen to bookies and online books all across the globe. The rings of sports betting lying under the radar for society’s more infamous bracket in Asian countries gives sports betting a foothold at a level that a census could never pick up and so it is truly impossible to get a sense of just HOW popular sportsbetting is worldwide. A survey in September 2018 illustrated that 97.4% of the audience of horse-racing also liked to bet, and 86.4% of the audience for boxing, so it almost seems as if many popular sports worldwide are televised and watched primarily for people to bet on. So what sports are the supergiants worldwide for sports betting, and how can you tap into this burgeoning market?


British football has been a mainstay in the global betting market for aeons. From high profile British teams from Manchester United and Arsenal to Aston Villa and Chelsea, and national teams competing on the world stage, the reds the blues and the full colour spectrum in between are filled with talent from across the globe. The Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and of course, who could forget, the international megaevent: The World Cup, are the biggest draws for this sport. Many would instantly assume American Football to have an unmatchable following, especially in comparison to ‘Soccer’ but you’d be surprised the traction that association football has in the gambling scene, with soccer being the most popular sport for betting in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Football (US)

Everybody loves the Superbowl, right? One of the greatest and most exciting sports events in the world, held annually and watched internationally. Everything from the ads, to the crowd, to the merchandising to watching two American giants slug it out on the pitch for hours makes for quality television, and you would be right in thinking that it is also one of the giants of sports betting. Sports betting for American Football primarily bets on NFL games, the NFL Draft or NCAA games, as well of the Superbowl of course. There is a surprising following of the sport in other countries throughout the world, with widely successful American Football teams in the UK, such as big BAFA teams like the London Olympians in the sports own Premiere League, or with a following in even more surprising countries such as Germany. Countries worldwide have an investment in the sport either to have their own teams or to bet on the big NFL matches, and it is easier than ever to hop on the betting train with the wide variety of teams in the NFL, and given surprise Superbowl results recently (looking at you, Eagles/Patriots 2018), now is an exciting time to follow the sport more than ever.


Balling legends from Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson through to modern titans like Lebron have graced the NBA courts with stellar play and breakneck-paced games that it is impossible not to enjoy. Basketball’s main following lies in the USA, especially in the lower tiers of the NCAA, but huge all-American events such as the NBA Draft, Playoffs and Finals, and big NCAA events such as March Madness bring in huge gouts of sports betters and attention at the bookmakers. Whether you’re a Lakers fan or Miami Heat, there’s a team for you and an event worth keeping an eye out for.


Watching legends like Federer, Murray, Nadal and Djokovic slug it out at the US Open, Australian Open, French Open or Wimbledon makes tennis a huge spectacle sport worldwide. The sheer level of strength and endurance required for tennis games, often spanning hours and hours of relentless batting, is a sight to behold. Sports betting on Wimbledon is a huge event that draws huge numbers to bookies and online services everywhere, and given the range of events to bet on it is easy to find something for you. Even more exciting, this is the first sport on our list where women in the sport have almost an equal standing with the men’s tournaments, with legends such as Maria Sharapova or the Williams sisters drawing crowds the world over.


The bulk of cricket’s success lies in Europe, Australia and India, and events like the ICC World Cup, Ashes series and Indian Premiere League provide plenty of variety across the globe for aspiring gamblers to bet on. Whether its test cricket, an Ashes grudge match or a friendly, you can be sure there is something going on at the wickets somewhere for you to place your bets on.


Tiger Woods. Nick Faldo. Rory McIlroy. Household names for a household sport. Doubtless you’ve tried it, and either loved it or given up after your third bogey that day. God knows I have. Thankfully, international golfing events are highly televised, and golf is just as lucrative a sport as ever to be involved in. The PGA Tour is still just as active as ever and new crops of talent mean golf is an evolving sport at present, drawing crowds internationally to the PGA Tour, Masters Tours and Opens.

Formula 1

Formula 1 provides some of the most edge of your seat racing available today. Watching Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen lock horns and wheels at the top vying for pole position makes for intense watching. Furthermore, watching the best of automotive engineering from the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all competing with their most well-oiled machines makes F1 a hugely gratifying sport to watch, whichever Grand Prix you watch.


The popularity of boxing in countries like Britain, the USA and Russia is undeniable. Boxing, both male and female, at all levels, makes for huge edge of your seat viewing. Watching fighters like Joshua slug it out at the top for the heavyweight title is amazing enough, but there is such a variety in the fighting at the different weight classes that boxing really does have something for everybody. Especially nowadays with surprise matchups such as Conor McGregor’s fight with Mayweather in a world event pitting a UFC Fighter against a traditional boxer, and the rise of celebrity grudge matches like KSI vs Joe Weller, all brackets and all levels of skill are finding a following, especially at the bookies.

Horse Racing

Horse RacingHorse Racing is so reliant on its own betting and has SO much money riding on it that it not making the list would be absurd. Britain and Japan dump MILLIONS into horse racing, betting on the Grand National, Royal Ascot and Cheltenham races. There’s a reason ‘a day at the races’ has such implication of being a lucrative event. Horse Racing draws so much money into it, with so many variables at play when betting from the trainer’s form to the personal course records of both horse and jockey, that horse racing is and always has been one of the most gratifying sports to bet on.

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