The rise of sports betting wagering worldwide begins with the most popular sport to watch. After massive shutdowns in sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, football regained its popularity in the U.S.
According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), $4.3 billion was wagered by gamblers on Super Bowl LV, which was a record-setting event for the industry. Nearly eight million people placed bets on the game through major online sportsbooks.
That total represented a 63% increase from the previous year.
Picking up the slack after a February downturn in the world of American sports would be the popularity of college basketball. The AGA reported that approximately 18 million people might be wagering online bets for this year’s March Madness tournament.
That number was a whopping 206% increase from 2019 (since last year’s tournament had been canceled due to COVID-19).
With sports betting legalization happening in the last few years throughout the U.S., the rise of wagering on sports has many potentials to expand worldwide.
How Is The Global Sports Betting Market?
The global sports betting market had been pent-up for about a year. However, sports gambling statistics in the U.S. suggested strong, record growth with $378 million in revenue being attributed to January, per the AGA.
As a record month for nationwide sports betting, it signified a 174% year-over-year surge in revenue from 2020.
In addition to the 11 states that reported record-setting wager amounts from sports betting in January, there were also two new legal jurisdictions, in Virginia and Michigan, which contributed to those statistics.
Tennessee and South Dakota are among a few other states looking to finalize legislation to legalize sports betting within their borders before starting the next football season, September 2021.
Domestic sports betting revenue in the U.S. is projected to be valued at $7 billion by 2025.
According to a report by Technavio, the global sports betting market size is expected to grow by $144.44 billion between 2020-2025.
Gross gambling revenue (GGR) in Europe was forecasted to be worth 24.7 billion Euros, in 2020, including online lottery, online casinos, and sports betting. Italy, the U.K, Germany, France, and Spain had the highest GGRs, respectively.
In 2019, forty-one percent of online gambling revenue in Europe came from sports betting. The region’s online gambling market was expected to be valued at $94 billion by 2024.
While Europe leads the way internationally for online gambling, many sportsbooks throughout Latin America remain available through traditional, land-based casinos. However, online wagering is becoming an unstoppable force.
Surprisingly, the country that gambles the most is China. Specifically, their special administrative region (province), Macau.
Like the rest of the world, international bookmakers can be accessed online in Macau to bet on sports. However, there are only two legal sites for sports betting and horse racing within the region. (European football and American basketball are two favorites for sports betting in Macau.)
The Asia-Pacific region (APAC) topped Europe and North America for sports betting in 2019. That trend is expected to continue, with online betting and new digital platforms leading the charge.
Is Sports Betting Legal?
Sports betting became legal in Nevada back in 1949. It was legalized in the U.K. in 1960. In the early 1990s, it was made illegal in the U.S on a federal level.
Over 25 years later, a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the ban on sports betting in 2018. Since then, nearly half the country has legalized some form of wagering on sports.
More states are expected to legalize sports betting in 2021.
Across Europe, sports betting is legal in many countries. Some regions are dominated by land-based casinos and sportsbooks in the gambling industry, catering to tourists and locals alike.
However, Malta’s tiny island is a “giant” for online gambling due to the laissez-faire reputation of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Sports betting is legal in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, although their regulatory environments favor online wagering. The U.K. passed monumental legislation back in 2005 in response to the Internet’s burgeoning world and remote gambling.
Thus online gambling has changed sports betting forever. Numerous sites and digital platforms are now easily available from anywhere around the world.
Some sites provide insights and reviews on the most trusted and reliable online sportsbooks.
Technology In Online Sports Gambling
What dominates online sports gambling is technology. Some bookmakers who have become online sportsbooks are now among the top gambling companies in the world.
Forbes claimed that if all 50 states in the U.S. legalize sports betting, it could end up generating nearly $20 billion in yearly revenue. (Somewhat similar to the ever-expanding legalization of recreational marijuana across the U.S.)
Legalized sports betting offers the potential for tech startups to expand their businesses into a multi-billion-dollar market. A highly competitive marketplace can set the stage for technological innovation in online sports gambling.
For example, Alphabet Inc. (Google) has recently changed its policies to permit real-money gambling and betting apps on its Play Store in the U.S. and 15 additional countries.
International Game Technology PLC (headquartered in the U.K., with affiliates in Europe, Latin America, and Asia) announced a partnership with Maverick Gaming’s subsidiary in Colorado to provide sports betting app in addition to self-service kiosks at three land-based casinos in the state.
Dish Network and DraftKings even partnered up to allow satellite TV subscribers to commence sports betting through live television, right to their cell phones.
As mobile technology’s increased availability plays a major role in online sports wagering on an international scale, so goes the industry.
Future Of Sports Betting
While the coronavirus pandemic certainly upended the world of sports, ultimately bringing everything from horse racing to the Olympics to a halt, there will always be beneficiaries of an economic downturn.
The future of sports betting looks bright in a post-pandemic world because it fared much better than land-based casinos that were forced to shutter their doors by government mandate.
Online betting is a little hazy, with a gray area that allows gambling to happen in Macau, Nigeria, Brazil, and even Arab countries.
Sports betting seems to be a cultural aspect, though, of Western nations, especially in the U.K. and U.S., where betting has long been a part of how governments financed their municipalities along with their vices.
Perhaps one of the most addictive technologies ever invented is the Smartphone. Tradable commodities paired with an internet connection will continue leading societies into the 21st century.
Gambling might be an addiction for some, while for others, it’s just a hobby, a form of entertainment, or maybe even a profession. For Westerners, it’s built into their DNA.
How early do kids get a Smartphone now?
The future of online gambling is expected to grow exponentially in Europe. In America, within a generation, most college kids will be able to place bets on their favorite sports teams right from their Smartphones as they’re waiting to buy an ounce of Indica or Sativa from their local weed store.
The world, as they say, is your oyster.