One of the funny things about human nature is that no matter where we live, what our cultural backgrounds are, or how we were raised, citizens in every country of the world tend to share the same overall “tastes”. This can be seen particularly in what some might label as “vices”; those activities which could lead us into trouble if we were to not monitor them carefully. Drinking, smoking, and entertainment are some things that human cultures throughout history have engaged in in one form or another.
Another example of a worldwide phenomenon that indicates the human condition is the massive popularity of sports betting. Wagering on the outcome of competition has been a part of every human society around the globe since people began to realize some of us were better at some things than others. It’s a trend that continues today.
With the rise of the online bookmaker, sports betting is bringing in more money, worldwide, than ever before. It’s truly the Golden Age of sports gambling. Let’s take a look at the most popular sports in the world for people who like to spice up the game with a wager.
oFootball: Nope, we aren’t talking quarterbacks and kickoffs here. Instead, we are talking about good old soccer. It’s called football everywhere in the world with the exception of two countries in North America (we’ll get to that in a bit). It is also the most popular sport in the world to boot, and as you might expect that means more people bet on soccer than on any other sport. International competitions, national leagues, professional and amateur all receive bets totalling in the billions every year!
oHorse Racing: One of the biggest things that horse race betting has going for it is that it is legal in every developed country. Even governments in Canada and the United States allow betting at the race track, largely because they are guaranteed a cut of the action.
oTennis: It may surprise many to see tennis come in at third on a list of top betting sports. As with soccer, the international flavor of the big tennis tournaments means that people from all over the world follow the sport. Moreover, tennis tends to cater to the upwardly mobile, which means bets on tennis tend to tally up quickly. And of course, the sport has rocketed in popularity almost everywhere in the last decade.
oCricket: It never hurts a sport to have the total backing of one of the most populated countries in the world. As the national sport and passion of the billion plus people in India, it’s no wonder that cricket places highly on our list. It’s not just India, either; cricket is incredibly popular in all countries that have a bit of Britain in their histories.
oRugby: Rounding out the top five is rugby. Again, rugby has the advantage of being internationally popular, another legacy of the once mighty British Empire. Free cricket betting tips
Wait a minute!
A bit surprised at our list? Sometimes seeing a few facts about the rest of the world can really wake those of us in North America up to reality. It can be pretty hard to see that not one of the popular American sports scratches the top five in sports betting in the world. Still, we can’t end on that dismal note; here are the most popular sports in Canada and the United States as far as betting numbers are concerned:
o(American!) Football: Ah, at last we get to the gridiron. Both amateur and pro football receive millions of dollars worth of bets every season, with the Super Bowl attracting the most betting attention of any event in North American sports.
oBasketball: Again, college and professional basketball leagues both account for basketball’s popularity amongst punters. In fact, NCAA betting outstrips NBA, with the Final Four coming in a close second to the Super Bowl as far money placed on yearly events.
Football and basketball leave every other sport in North America in the dust when it comes to sports betting popularity. Still, they are but minor players in the international sports betting game!