With the 2022 FIFA World Cup, being the first with legalized online betting throughout most of the country, was the first time Americans had a chance to bet on the most popular sporting event in the world without using the services of unregulated offshore bookmakers.
With more than half the country able to place bets, the 2022 World Cup final became the second leading sports event of the year for sports bettors in the U.S.
Argentina’s big win against France in the final match saw 7.9 million geolocation transactions. While it may be well under the 23.5 million for the Super Bowl from this past February, it’s still significant, given the vast difference in popularity between the NFL and international soccer in the U.S.
However, that figure is far better than the 4.8 million geolocation hits during the NCAA basketball final during March Madness last April. The 2022 World Cup final also had more transactions than the deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals last June, which had 5.1 million geolocation checks.
It’s common knowledge that soccer isn’t very popular among American sports fans. However, they certainly enjoyed wagering on the World Cup. The 1.7 million active users who placed wagers on the World Cup final were second to the 3.1 million who bet on the Super Bowl.
However, the figure for the World Cup final was ahead of the NCAA basketball championship game, which pulled in 1.1 million viewers, Game 6 of the NBA Finals with its 1.0 million and the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals (0.5 million).
Record Number of New Accounts Created
The match between the U.S. and England was among the most wagered for new American bettors, with more than 30,000 new sports betting accounts created just for that game.
That’s similar to the number of new accounts opened before the tournament’s opening game between Qatar and Ecuador. Overall, Americans opened more than 1 million new sports betting accounts during the World Cup, an outstanding figure for the U.S. betting industry.
The 2018 World Cup had final worldwide viewing figures of about 3.572 billion people. For the 2022 event, that number is expected to reach higher than four billion.
This has arguably been one of the most exciting World Cups since 1986 in Mexico. Although the U.S. lost in the Round of 16 to the Netherlands, the young American squad looked like a team with a bright future after beating England in the Group Stage and dominating Iran.
Even though all the morning games were played at times when most U.S. viewers were at work, these are very encouraging numbers. As the sport continues to develop in the country along with the sports betting industry, in four years, the industry can expect to see a significant increase in these figures.