Millions of people around the world love to watch sports. The thrill of the live action and the unpredictable nature of some games make it a massive draw.
Surrounding the world of sports is the gambling industry. Sportsbooks offer all kinds of markets ranging from basketball to tennis. Such is its popularity that it’s become one of the world’s biggest industries.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at sports betting in more detail. We’ll explore what it is, the type of sports you can bet on, the facts and figures surrounding the industry, and the reasons why it’s grown so much.
What is sports betting?
Sports betting is a segment of the gambling industry that focuses entirely on placing stakes and wagers on sporting events.
There is a wide range of betting markets available covering sports such as:
- American football, including college football and the National Football League (NFL)
- Basketball, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and college basketball
- Ice hockey, such as the National Hockey League (NHL)
Sports betting sites offer players the chance to place a wide range of bets. For example, in soccer, it’s possible to bet on the number of goals scored in a match, who will score, or even things like the number of corner kicks that a team will win in a match.
Betting markets are equally detailed for other sports. In tennis, it’s possible to not only pick the winner of the tournament, but the number of sets they’ll lose as they progress through the competition.
Betting sites generally offer more generous deals, offers, and odds around the time of big events, such as the FIFA World Cup or the US Open.
It really does pay to stay in the loop. You can do this by carrying out research on the best online sportsbooks in the US and the different deals or promotions that they may currently be running.
How big is the current market?
Sports betting is not universally legal. Different countries have their own regulations in place which mean that the trends are not consistent across the globe.
As of 2021, the sports betting market size, which also includes the lottery market, was valued at just under $195bn. This was an increase of almost $20bn compared to 2020.
The biggest area of growth can be seen in the online gambling and betting industry. In 2021, it was worth around $61.5bn. By 2028, that figure is set to nearly double, coming in at $114.4bn.
The US has experienced the most growth since 2018 following the removal of a federal law banning sports betting. In 2021, around $4.33bn was generated in turnover, which is a huge rise compared to the previous year and shows the future trend too.
How has it achieved such growth?
There are numerous factors behind the marked growth in the sports betting world. Firstly, sportsbooks have invested heavily in their online betting platforms. Now it’s possible for people to bet using their mobile phones, as well as their desktop computers.
Betting sites have also made it much easier to place bets and navigate around their apps. This improved user experience has encouraged more people to return to the sportsbook to bet again.
To add further encouragement, sports betting sites also offer players lots of attractive bonuses and deals.
For example, when a player first signs up with a betting site, they may be offered a matched first bet or matched first deposit bonus. This means that when you join a sportsbook for the first time, the company will match the first sum you deposit or the first bet you make.
If you were to bet on the Las Vegas Raiders to beat the Green Bay Packers and bet $40, the betting site would match it, meaning your stake is in fact $80. If you win, you get double the payout.
This type of welcome bonus is particularly attractive to bettors who are confident of the outcome of a particular game and want to try and double their winnings.
Sportsbooks also offer bonuses and deals to returning players. This may be in the form of enhanced odds or coupon codes. Sometimes, betting sites offer players free spins or credit to try on their casino games, which many offer alongside sports betting.