England’s women lifted the EUROs Cup on Sunday night, and the competition’s increased popularity could mean good news for sportsbooks for future profits. [Image: Lionesses Twitter]
Reaching new heights
Usually, sportsbooks around the world rely heavily on the major football leagues to handle them. For the previous FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2018, for example, it is estimated that viewers bet $155 billion on the entire tournament. To put that into perspective, the competition was essentially the equivalent of 17 Super Bowls in a row, which were worth $8 billion in stakes in 2022.
This year, another big soccer competition is getting sportsbooks excited. The FIFA Women’s European Championship 2022 concluded on Sunday evening with host England defeating the Germans to lift the trophy. It may have been the first time England won a major football competition since 1966, but it is the betting numbers that have truly intrigued the world’s betting giants.
Most bets ever in a women’s sporting event”
Flutter Entertainment, owner of Sky Betting and Gaming, FanDuel and Paddy Power, released data before the final that the tournament was “on the verge of seeing the highest number of bets ever on a women’s sporting event”. Similarly, Entain, owner of Ladbrokes, Bwin and Coral, reported 1.5 million online bets on the competition, a record for women’s sports.
Combined with the increase in viewership and stadium attendance, these numbers indicate that women’s football has finally earned the respect it deserves on the world stage. As this growth trajectory continues, sports bets will pay off well.
Bet in large numbers
Digging deeper into the numbers, we can see the impact of the growing spotlight on this year’s European Women’s Championships. While the numbers are far from those seen in the men’s version of the competition, its record growth indicates bright things for betting on women’s sports.
Paddy Power reported a 26% increase in bet size compared to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. Prior to Sunday’s final, the player earned £6.6 million ($8 million) in bets during the tournament. Meanwhile, Sky Betting and Gaming reported a 17% increase in bets from 2019, with a total of 934,330 bets placed across the entire cycle excluding in-play.
Sixfold increase in the number of bets placed by women
As Entain pointed out, UK bookmakers were the most bet in the competition. They represented 46% of all bets placed on the Euro, followed by Germans with 22% and Brazilians with 16%. Significantly, the operator has also seen a sixfold increase in the number of bets placed by women compared to the previous World Cup.
The final in particular saw 840,000 bets across the three major brands of Flutter. Sky Bet had total stakes of 4.7 million pounds ($5.7 million) in the England-Germany match, while in-play bets amounted to 1.1 million pounds ($1.3 million). As expected, games featuring England saw Flutter’s biggest earnings.
These betting numbers correspond to viewership. EUROs have amassed a global live audience of over 250 million. This is a 40% increase over the previous edition in 2017. The final also broke the record for the largest audience in the tournament’s history, with 87,192 people taking a trip to Wembley Stadium. Total attendance was 547,875, surpassing its previous high of 240,055.
Records seem to be falling like dominoes in the eurozone. Outside of its popularity, the tournament was marked by the largest margin of victory in its history (Norway’s 8-0 defeat by England), the most goals scored by a team (England with 22), and the oldest goalscorer ever (37-year-old Julie Nelson of Northern Ireland).
It is worth noting that the top three participations recorded in European football this year came from women’s matches. The European Nations Cup final was the third highest final in 2022. It came after a crowd of 91,553 spectators watched the Barcelona women face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and watched the confrontation between Barcelona and Wolfsburg in the first leg of the semi-finals. Live by 91648.
Support for the ladies’ game doesn’t seem to be slowing down either:
The numbers really speak for themselves. If the popularity of women’s football eventually reaches anywhere close to that of men’s, sportsbook operators will have access to an additional money-making machine every two years through the European Championship and World Cup. No doubt their fingers are really crossed.