The Most Popular Sports Betting Markets Worldwide

by Kevin Wandu

With the recent development of online providers of sports betting, there is more competition than ever in the industry, which is driving bookmakers to upgrade their sites and apps, offer the best odds, and determine which sports their customers like to wager on. As a result, even bettors who enjoy playing online casino games sometimes indulge in betting on sports. 

Players’ preferences in sports betting vary throughout the different worldwide markets, making some sports more popular than others depending on where they are. The main reason is that bettors will mainly bet on sports they are familiar with. Many sports are also more prevalent in certain regions than others. The other factor is that the interest in betting on any sport sometimes correlates with a specific country’s performance internationally within that sport. 


Popular Sports Betting Markets in Europe

Betting on sports is very popular in Europe, with bookmakers available in almost every city. The most popular game across the continent is football, with bettors able to bet on the most popular and lower-rated leagues throughout Europe. 

Basketball is the second-most popular sport to bet on the continent, with several leagues and tournaments offered throughout the year. Tennis and horse racing are also very popular in Europe, with the latter being more prevalent in Great Britain. 


Popular Sports to Bet In Asia

Asia’s betting market has increased significantly in recent years, with football also the most popular sport to wager. The number of bettors who enjoy wagering on the sport is quickly growing with each championship and tournament that is played. Basketball is also popular in the region and is the second most popular in betting volume throughout Asia. 

Table tennis is next on the list and is a great sport to wager because of the game’s simplicity, where the bettor just picks the winner of the match. Cricket betting is also widespread in the region, especially in India.

Besides traditional sports, eSports betting is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide and can’t be ignored, with Asia currently being the number one market. Many professional football and basketball clubs in the region also have their own eSports teams for popular games such as Dota 2, League of Legends and CS: GO. 


Famous African Sports Betting Markets

Football is the most popular sport to bet on in Africa, but many others are captivating bettors all over the continent. Rugby is very popular in South Africa, as the team known as the Springboks has won the World Cup on three different occasions, with their last championship coming in 2019. 

Cricket is also prominent in South Africa as they also have one of the best teams in the world, known as the Protea. However, the sport isn’t as popular as football but is wagered more in Kenya and Zimbabwe. 


Sports Betting in the Americas

Since the U.S. struck down the federal law prohibiting gambling in 2018, American football has been at the top of the list for U.S. bettors. Other sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, hockey, and golf are widely wagered. 

MMA and boxing are also popular, along with horseracing and darts, which are both growing in popularity. Esports is also increasing in action for online sportsbooks as the U.S. is set to be at the top of the global eSports market in the near future. 

In Latin America, football is number one as the culture has a passion for the most popular sport in the world. In countries such as Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, baseball is very popular as it has been played and enjoyed by fans for over 100 years. Basketball continues to gain popularity as one of the favorite sports to bet in the region.

Cockfighting is legal in both Columbia and Venezuela, and many Latin American bettors enjoy the bloodsport by watching live streams online. Other countries in the region allow cockfighting as long as no betting is involved. 


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