The Most Common Sports Betting Markets

The global sports betting industry is worth more than 200 billion US Dollars each year. But what exactly are people betting on...

Dominic Field
August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021

The Most Common Sports Betting Markets

The global sports betting industry is worth more than 200 billion US Dollars each year. But what exactly are people betting on to generate such huge volumes? Let’s take a look at the most popular sports betting markets around the world.

Football (Soccer)

The world’s favourite sport is football, so it makes perfect sense that the beautiful game is also the most popular when it comes to placing bets. In the UK alone, punters spend almost £800 million a year on football betting markets. 

Experts believe that, once you factor in all of the illegal betting activity around the globe, every individual Premier League match attracts up to £1 billion worth of bets. 

Most Popular Football Betting Markets

American Football

The Super Bowl, which is the climax of the NFL season, attracts around 100 million viewers every year. Although sports betting has been illegal in the US for a long time, things have begun to open up in the last few years. 

It’s estimated that around $150 billion a year is placed on sports betting markets in the USA, whether legal or not. Around two-thirds of those wagers are on NFL and other football bets.

Most Popular American Football Betting Markets


It’s thought that tennis is the third most popular sport for betting around the globe. Because the game tends to be quite stop-start, with lots of natural pauses, tennis is the perfect in-play betting medium. 

Tennis remains a popular spectator sport across the globe. More than a billion people watched at least one match during the Wimbledon Championships, for instance.

Most Popular Tennis Betting Markets


The NBA is hugely successful around the world, with a massive following in Asia and Africa. Although not as popular as NFL in the USA, the NBA does still generate around $8 billion per year in commercial revenues. 

When you throw in college basketball, as well as major European events such as EuroLeague, Liga ACB and VTB United League, basketball represents a sizable chunk of the global sports betting market.

Most Popular Basketball Betting Markets


The International Cricket Council estimates that there are a billion cricket fans around the world, with a staggering 90% of them situated on the Indian subcontinent. 

With such a rise in faster-paced cricket formats and competitions like The Hundred, The Big Bash League and the huge commercial success of the Indian Premier League, it’s no surprise that cricket betting has also grown exponentially in recent years. Individual IPL matches have been known to see betting volumes in excess of £70 million on legal UK betting exchanges, which is just a fraction of the amount bet around the globe. 

Most Popular Cricket Betting Markets


The recent rise of esports has been phenomenal. Just a few years ago, esports was regarded as a novelty; perhaps even something a little bit geeky and not worth a great deal of attention. But the global betting revenues for esports rose to a massive $343 million in 2020. Although this was boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more traditional sports betting markets were suspended, sales had already been on a steep upward curve. Worldwide esports revenues are projected to top $860 million by the year 2024. 

There are many different games within this wide category, but the most popular by far are League of Legends, CS:GO and DOTA 2. You can also bet on sports games, such as the popular EA franchises FIFA and NBA 2K.

Most Popular Esports Betting Markets


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