Football's dominance to wane by next World Cup

6 July 2018

Football is set to account for a whopping 63.1% of all sports betting this year thanks to the World Cup, but things will be different by the time the next one rolls around, according to H2 Gambling Capital.

The leading gambling data business says the biggest changes in the market in the next four years will come from developments in China and the US.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest single event for all operators at 5.0% of all global sports betting,  but the make-up of the market is set to change markedly between the 2018 to 2022 tournaments.

"The US sports betting effect and the upswing you get in Chinese Sports Lottery betting during the event will see China become the largest World Cup betting market by Qatar 2022,” says David Henwood, co-director at H2.

As the below dashboard shows, China has already overtaken the UK in terms of the total size of its sports betting market, but the US is set for strong growth following the repeal of PASPA, which means individual states can legalise sports betting.

The US market is expected to be huge, but given football is less popular in the US than in Europe — H2 predicts it will account for only about 5-6% of the US regulated market — the addition of US gross win to the global pie will reduce football’s share of the market.

“The interesting trend to watch going forward will be the undoubted growth in US sports (American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey), already at 11% of the global pie in 2018, and set to eat further into football’s dominance over the next four years,” says Henwood.

China’s impact on the market will be somewhat different – H2 says while mobile and in-play betting are set to become stronger on a global basis, the growth in China Sports Lottery betting will offset some of this growth as typically its bets are placed pre-match and using land-based facilities.

Nonetheless, Henwood says in terms of the World Cup specifically, “76% of all Russia 2018 betting will be on mobile, growing to some 89% by Qatar 2022”.

H2 Gambling Capital is the gambling industry's leading consulting, market intelligence and data team. The company has a track record of 15 years focused on the global gambling industry, its projections have been influential in shaping legislators'  and investors’ views of the gambling sector across the globe.