A new survey finds that nearly half of American sports fans will bet on the upcoming World Cup. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
The World Cup gathers new fans
A recent survey revealed that nearly half of American sports fans plan to bet on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
49% of the 1,500 showed interest in betting on World Cup matches or futures
The survey, conducted by BettorOff, surveyed 1,500 “sports fans” in states with legal sports betting markets. 49% of the 1,500 showed interest in betting on World Cup matches or futures, which is a surprising number for a sport that is less popular in America than in many other countries.
The tournament kicks off every four years on November 20 and will run until December 18. Teams start in eight groups of four and will play each team in their group before the top two teams in each group advance to a single-elimination bracket match, at which point they will compete until one team is left standing.
The spread of football in America
The global popularity of the World Cup has never been questioned. FIFA estimated that more than 1 billion people watched the 2018 final between France and Croatia, which was won 4-2 in favor of France.
The huge interest in World Cup betting by the American public is surprising. 18% of those surveyed said their plans to bet on the competition would be the first time they bet on any football match.
Major League Soccer (MLS) is the most competitive soccer league in America but it pales in comparison to other major leagues around the world, such as the English Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga.
This could be a fruitful tournament for the Americans
However, this tournament can be fruitful for the Americans, which can lead to an even greater increase in the participation of bettors. Team USA heads into the tournament in 16th place in the standings FIFA World Rankings, while they were ranked 25th at this time four years ago. Four years earlier, they were in 28th place.
74% of respondents indicated that they would use the World Cup as a launching pad for their football fandom and would continue to play football more regularly after the tournament is over.
Future growth is possible
There has been a steady push to drive the popularity of soccer in America in the 21st century. That effort will be met with a broad vision in 2026 when the World Cup makes its way to North America, with most matches being played across the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada.
When that time comes, football betting and football itself will gain a huge following, which means that potential bettors will probably have to start paying attention now.
An interesting intersection of opportunities surrounding the World Cup”
“There is an interesting intersection of the opportunities surrounding the World Cup,” said BettorOff CEO and Founder Alex Dobbin. “With professional soccer and online sports betting spreading across the United States, we expect this World Cup to be a watershed for soccer fans and bettors across the country.”
The 2018 World Cup generated a global bet of $146 billion. For comparison, that’s roughly three-fifths of Portugal’s GDP.
During the World Cup period in 2018, only three states – Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey – had legal sports betting markets. That number swelled to 36, of which 31 have active markets, with Maryland soon to join the internet fold.
The most popular sports betting event in America is traditionally the Super Bowl. World Cup players will have to overcome a massive handle to set a new record, but there is no doubt that this will be a defining moment for the future of soccer betting in America.