The sports betting industry has one of the brightest futures in the world.
Many sportsbooks that allow online betting continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sports have returned alongside mass inoculation campaigns. Online sports betting can continue to expand.
How Big Is the Sports Gambling Industry?
Estimated to be worth $218.5 billion in 2019, the sports betting market size grew for four years. With a slight dip to an estimated $203 billion in 2020, according to Statista.
Valued at around about $211 billion, the forecast for 2021 again looks bright.
Online sports betting market size in 2018 saw Europe as the dominant regional player. The U.K., Germany, and Spain were among the top countries in the region.
Italy collected under €703 million for basketball. €2.1 billion for tennis, and €9.1 billion for football (in Euros).
In 2019, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region became the world leader. With a 49% share of the global sports betting market.
A 2018 Supreme Court decision paved the way for sports betting legalization in New Jersey in the U.S.
Several other states soon followed suit.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported that by October 2020, the U.S. bet a record $3 billion on sports. An increase of about 54% from the previous year.
At the end of 2020, New Jersey began setting national records for sports wagering five months in a row. Culminating in December with approximately $1 billion in bets.
By now, half the states in the U.S. have legalized some form of gambling.
Along with regional expansions in Europe and the APAC countries. Growth for the global sports betting market is forecast at $134.06 billion by 2024.
Key Takeaways of the Sports Betting Market
One of the biggest takeaways of the sports betting market? Its enormous growth potential.
With growth comes partnerships.
Many sportsbooks have made deals with professional leagues and broadcast companies. For example, the Chicago Cubs and DraftKings reached a deal worth $100 million.
Sportradar tracks league data for most of the major sports leagues in the U.S., including the NBA. The league’s senior vice-president said that their goal is to partner with every sportsbook in the U.S.
Unibet is an online gambling platform and a subsidiary of Kindred Group (based out of Malta). The company has partnered with teams in the NFL, NHL, and MLS. They even developed a blackjack game with the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the first professional sports-themed casino in the U.S.
European countries have been considering restrictions. And even an outright ban on sports betting advertising. That’s not the case in the U.S.
ESPN reports commercialization of the sports betting market is present on highway billboards. On the floors inside NBA arenas and in the outfields of MLB stadiums.
The first three months of 2021 saw $154 million spent on local TV ads in America. Translate that into $4 billion in bets placed with U.S. sportsbooks in March. And you’ve got another record for the industry.
That’s not even taking into account the NFL season, which begins in August. American football is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the world. The league announced partnerships with DraftKings, Caesars Entertainment, and FanDuel earlier this year.
Bookmakers are even becoming their media outlets, offering statistics and analysis on the best online sports betting sites.
Sports betting companies and online sports betting is entering into a Golden Age.
The Impact of COVID-19 in Sports Betting
COVID-19 made an impact on sports all around the world. From the Olympics in Tokyo to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In 2020, the world of sports betting ground to a halt.
This year, sports have returned. Although with a lot of weird restrictions and empty stadiums.
The New York Times reported last month on the subject. MLB teams would play 60 regular-season games instead of the usual 162. Then the playoffs would be among 16 teams with a best-of-three series format in the first round.
The NBA began again back in December, playing a full season up to this month. A play-in tournament is set to begin in May with the start of the postseason.
NHL teams finished with a shortened, 56-game schedule. Some divisions ended earlier than others due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The playoffs are now underway.
Bookmakers have made adjustments when it comes to home advantage for certain teams. Some professional bettors might have chosen to sit out this season. In contrast, others grew tired of betting on e-sports, South Korean baseball, and table tennis.
European football leagues got tangled in trying to return too early last year. And their recent Super League project seemed to fall right on its arse last month. After playing matches behind closed doors and to low-capacity crowds. Top leagues were able to finish their seasons.
In 2020, Wimbleton canceled for the first time since World War II. The prestigious tennis tournament will take place this year.
The Future of Sports Wagering Worldwide
The future of sports betting around the world is in-game wagering. Another term for this phenomenon is micro betting.
Sportsbooks intertwined with real-time statistics for every game offer that data to bettors. With wagers on things like individual at-bat results. A basketball player’s total points or assists. And which team will score a touchdown on their next drive?
The possibilities associated with micro betting seem to be endless. All that amounts to increased revenue for sportsbooks across the board. And to more people watching sports around the world.
Another one of the many sports betting trends is live streaming.
Live streaming increased by 50% during the coronavirus pandemic due to social distancing regulations and full-and-partial lockdowns. People around the world had to stay put.
This became a gold mine for tech companies in sports gambling.
For example, a partnership between MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and Caesars Entertainment. Leading to the creation of a mobile sportsbook and bar. (Right on a plaza next to Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks play all their home games.)
DraftKings hasn’t lost a step either. Teaming up with Meadowlark Media. (A company owned by sportswriter and former ESPN host Dan Le Batard.) The deal is worth $50 million and will host Le Batard’s shows across many platforms. This new network will showcase DraftKings’ odds and betting trends.
Diverse mobile technology. Paired with inexpensive and reliable internet accessibility. That’s the future of sports betting worldwide.
Sports Betting Trends for 2021
Major sports betting trends for 2021 include championship events.
The world waited for about a year or more to get back to normal sports. In the world of sports betting, the Super Bowl and March Madness were immense. (Wagering on this year’s Kentucky Derby saw a 96% increase from the year prior.)
Look for that trend to continue in 2021. Here are some of the main events to consider:
*2021 NBA playoffs, May 22 – July 22
*2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, May – July
*The French Open (tennis), May 24 – June 13
*2020-2021 UEFA Europa League Final, May 26
*2020-21 UEFA Champions League Final, May 29
*The US Open (golf), June 17 – 20
*Wimbleton (tennis), June 28 – July 11
*2021 UEFA Super Cup, August 11
*The US Open (tennis), August 30 – September 12
*MLB Postseason, October – November 2021
*2021 FIFA Club World Cup, December 2021 (Japan)
The U.K. and the rest of Europe were gambling online before America. In the first decades of the 2000s, land-based casinos sprung up in Asia in Singapore and Macau.
Back in the States, Atlantic City faltered to the tune of a Bruce Springsteen song. And it still hasn’t got much better. Even with Trump gone.
What turned the tide was the Supreme Court in the U.S.
They showed the world that legalized sports betting could be an industry boon. Revenue from gambling during the coronavirus pandemic. Why not?
If countries around the world could figure out how to operate in the black. Instead of in the red.
Gambling companies can show them how it’s done.
The European market seems burdened by heavier restrictions in the wake of Brexit. That doesn’t change the facts. Football is still one of the most popular sports on the planet. People are going to gamble on it. No matter what happens.
The U.S. understands that concept quite well.
Differences between legality in sports betting and a black market shaped the industry. Long before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018.
Now everybody has a cell phone.
All it takes is a small deposit. And you’re on your way. Sports betting has never been easier. So long as there are sports left to play.
There will always be gamblers. And lots of gambling, too.