October 28, 2022 3 min read


World Cup to Be a Bonanza for Sportsbooks

The upcoming World Cup in November is going to be a bonanza for sports betting operators globally. With soccer gathering momentum in the United States, and the country legalizing its sports betting industry at an unprecedented pace, operators are expecting to make a killing. November itself is already densely packed with events, ranging from the NFL to the NBA, the NHL and college sports, but the FIFA World Cup will give a distinct push to the industry.

Massive Windfall Coming from FIFA World Cup

In 2018, the total gambling handle for the World Cup hosted in Russia hit $146 billion (based on FIFA data), but at the time only three states could legally accept sports betting wagers through their locally registered operators, to wit Nevada, New Jersey, and of course Delaware. Fast-forward to 2022, though, and things have changed in a big way.

There are 37 states with legalized sports betting, many of which have already launched their operations. Even before this, the American Gaming Association was arguing that the offshore gambling market in the United States alone is $150 billion, although this figure has not been updated for a while.

The almost unbridled licensing of sports betting in the United States means that there will be a lot more money coming into the regulated market. Speaking to Sportico and cited by Yahoo Sports, Gambling.com VP of sports Max Bichsel said that the upcoming World Cup will be massive for a number of reasons. He explained:

Since the last World Cup, not only has the addressable market compounded significantly, with massive states like Arizona and New York, but you also have the function of how popular soccer and European football has become in the US.

Gambling.com VP of sports Max Bichsel

The World Cup could prove an important way to acquire new customers, for example. Many of the people who will come around to place a wager on the World Cup, says Bichsel, may be registering at a sportsbook for the first time and only to place a bet. This means that operators will immediately have the opportunity to acquire and convert some fresh blood as it were.

Striking Home With Sports Fans That Are Beyond Bookies’ Reach

Prophet Exchange, an ambitious peer-to-peer betting company, told the publication, that the only reason why it would be able to go after certain player bases is that they will be showing up in droves for the World Cup event. There is a lot of room to draft interesting markets as well. For example, sportsbooks are looking to go into propositions such as “England or the United States” to win.

It doesn’t matter whether these two teams have the best odds of succeeding, as all that matters is whether fans will relate and be interested in backing the action in the first place. Players in the soccer competition are prominent enough to motivate people to turn up at a sportsbook and place a flutter.

The true test of how successful the FIFA World Cup would be is not only going to be measured in the total sports betting handle placed through regulated markets – albeit it would be an important one. It would also come down to the retention rate after the fact. In other words, how many people are going to stick around once the event wraps up?

Something similar happened in 2020 when sports were suspended and esport and exotic sports such as table tennis from the Russian Federation and the CIS region had to fit the bill. Many of these newly discovered markets are still around and doing well.


Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the GamblingNews.com team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

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