AGA: World Cup to be most popular football wagering event in US history

World Cup
Image: Sergio V S Rangel/Shutterstock

Approximately 20.5 million American adults, or eight per cent of the population, are to bet around $1.8bn on the upcoming 2022 men’s FIFA World Cup, according to an American Gaming Association survey.

Among a national sample of 2,213 that was taken between November 3-5, it was found that 72 per cent plan to place traditional bets either online, with a bookie or at a physical sportsbook.

Of these bettors, 9.8 million (48 per cent) plan to place a bet online, six million (29 per cent) will place a casual bet with a friend, 4.7 million (23 per cent) will wager at a physical casino, 4.1 million (20 per cent) will bet with a bookie and 3.5 million (17 per cent) plan to participate in a paid pool or fantasy contest.

The survey also found around 78 per cent of World Cup bettors suggest that it is important for them to place their bets legally. 

“As the first World Cup with widespread availability of legal sports betting, this will certainly be the most bet-upon soccer event ever in the US,” said Casey Clark, AGA Senior Vice President. 

“With more than half of all American adults having access to legal betting options in their home market, legal sports betting will deepen American fan engagement in the most-watched sporting event in the world.”

Further findings show that a little below three in ten (29 per cent) that plan to watch the World Cup intend to wager on the tournament, while gen z (11 per cent) and millennial (14 per cent) adults are more interested in betting on the tournament than gen x (eight per cent)) and baby boomers (two per cent).

Furthermore, when factoring in a theoretical $50 bet, 24 per cent of Americans would favour their home nation to triumph in the tournament, followed by Brazil (19 per cent), Argentina (17 per cent) and Germany (10 per cent). 

“As the World Cup kicks off, anyone getting in on the action should have a game plan to bet responsibly. That means setting a budget, keeping it fun, learning the odds and playing with legal, regulated operators,” Clark added.