Which Sports are the Most Popular for Betting?

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The global sports betting scene is becoming more and more popular. Punters can bet on the main street, online, and on their mobile phones, thanks to the availability of various bookmakers. In such a market, a lot of money exchanges hands daily across multiple sports.

It is no surprise that hundreds of sports betting sites have appeared on the internet in recent years, accepting bets on all major sporting events. Here, we look at the most popular sports among gamblers.

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Soccer (or football outside the US) is the most popular sport almost everywhere around the globe; therefore, it is not surprising that it is also the most wagered upon. According to recent betting and sports data research, soccer betting accounts for over 70% of all betting globally.

Every week, millions of fans travel to support their favourite teams. Even more, people watch the action on TV. Many of those fans will most likely throw a live bet during matches. The bar conversation is dominated by pre-game talk over who will score first. Post-game analysis of which bets were correct or incorrect is increasingly widespread. Betting and sports are two different things, yet betting and soccer have become synonymous.

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American Football

Football (American Football) is easily the most popular sport for betting in the United States. It is also the second most popular in the world in terms of betting. NFL wagers account for nearly half of all sports wagers in the United States. When it comes to individual events, the Super Bowl is the most popular sporting event on the calendar. The Super Bowl in 2021 drew a record-breaking $158.6 million in wagers. That is, however, merely the official figure. According to estimates, 26 million individuals gambled on the 2020 Super Bowl, including 5 million betting via mobile or online platforms. 


Basketball is the world’s third most popular sport for betting. Roughly $10 billion is spent on March Madness, a single-elimination tournament in which 68 teams compete in seven rounds over a month to become national champions. The NBA is the most popular among basketball fans, and easily the most wagered on, with Betway providing betting opportunities throughout the season.


Tennis has grown over time to become one of the most popular sports to bet on, which may surprise those who aren’t fans of the sport. Every year, the sport generates billions in betting income. Outside of the four main events of US Open, Wimbledon Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open, there isn’t much to write home about the sport in terms of betting.

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Horse Racing

Horse racing was once regarded as the Kings’ sport, but with the increased availability of football and other markets and in-play and cash-out betting opportunities, traditional horse racing betting has slipped down punters’ priority lists. Punters bet £150 million on the 2017 famous Cheltenham Festival alone. 

It’s a huge industry, with major events like the Grand National, Epsom Derby, and Royal Ascot still attracting large bets on Betway and other top betting platforms, but interest in daily and weekly betting is decreasing among the younger generation of gamblers.

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