Rowdie: Mathematical football prediction and betting tips

Most Popular Sports to Bet On by Country

It is estimated that almost $500 million is wagered in sports betting around the Globe annually. It is predicted that by 2025 in the United States alone the betting market will generate almost $7 billion in revenues. This is a massive growth, since in 2019 the revenues did not even reach 1 billion ($829 million). The popularity of sports to bet on is changing from country to country, and it is to a great extent aligned with the popularity of the sport within the country. A big part of this phenomenon is due to a myth that betting on your team will support it. Let us look at each of the most popular types of sport around the Globe. (Due to many unregulated betting markets, it’s impossible to get accurate numbers for the global sports betting revenues.)

Soccer / football

In the United States, when you say “football” people will automatically think you are talking about “American football” and that is why we have the word “soccer”. Enough of theory, the question is: Where is football the most popular sport to bet on? There is one continent that is crazy about the game and most of you have guessed correctly – it is South America.

If you go to Brazil or Argentina, there will be not much more besides football to brag about. When it however comes to sports betting, people are not so crazy about it. As the regulators in Southern America began to sell licenses, many bookmakers spotted this opportunity… just to withdraw from the markets only a few months later. If the Southern Americans however decide to bet, in over 80% of the cases they bet on football.

When it comes to volumes, there are 2 countries on the “Old continent” that annually bet almost 2 billion on football. UK and the second largest gambling market in Europe – Italy. Where else? Germany, France, Russia, South America, South East Asia and dozens others have football on their number 1 position when it comes to sports betting.

Cricket and Rugby

Punters in the Old continent or in America consider betting on these 2 sports as rather “exotic”, but there are countries where these sports are ruling the betting scene. Nobody will even think twice that India is the number one when it comes to cricket, but have you heard of Botswana? None of the countries are however a bookmakers paradise, so there is no surprise I completely left out a country where sports betting is basically nonexistent. The country is Pakistan.

When it comes to Rugby there are 2 countries that are crazy about it – New Zealand and Australia. The sports betting and gambling market in Australia has gone through turbulent times in recent years, driving established brands out of the country.  No matter how the story goes, The National Rugby League and Australian Football League lead the way in sports betting in Australia, while the same goes for New Zealand.

Ice hockey

A few nations have built national pride up on ice hockey. No, not just the crib of ice hockey Canada, but many post communist and European countries. In Russia ice hockey is still considered the national sport, which is based on dozens of international gold medals and hundreds of players “exported” to the NHL. But also smaller countries such as Latvia, Czech republic, Slovakia, Sweden or Finland have ice hockey in their top 3 when it comes to betting.

Fun fact about countries like Slovakia or Latvia is that the national teams are not really showing any significant performance, but there are still people going crazy around the sports. Maybe some past success nostalgia? For sure. Success usually means money and there is decent sponsorship money in ice hockey in both of the mentioned countries. Casino online lt and gambling in general are those who pump lots of money into the leagues. As for Slovakia (and Czech republic) the main sponsor of the local leagues is Tipsport, making betting look like a sibling of ice hockey.

Tennis and Horse racing

Disappointingly, the numbers of bet volumes on tennis and horse racing not reaching 15% of the football betting volumes. The biggest reason is indeed the number of events. While for football you have hundreds – even thousands of fixtures per day, in tennis you have a fraction of that. When it comes to live betting, football gives a greater variety of bets compared to tennis, giving football yet another advantage.

Horse racing is doing even worse than tennis, when it comes to volumes and is concentrated around events such as Royal Ascot, Cheltenham Festival, Grand National, The Golden Stakes or The Victoria Derby. When it comes to countries and popularity, we see that UK or Australia as the hosts of the most spectacular horse racing events are those who like to bet on it.

MMA and Boxing

Let’s start with the countries: USA, Mexico, Philippines and Ireland. Wonder why? From the times of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are Americans crazy about the gladiator types of fighters. Boxing in the United states has taken place in Las Vegas casinos and still it is a symbol of success. Many boxing champions were also from Mexico, and looking at the career of Manny Pacquiao, Andy Ruiz and many others it is easy to understand why Philippinos and Mexicans go crazy about boxing.

Conor Mcgregor rings a bell for sure and that is the explanation why betting on MMA and Octagon is so popular in Ireland. However, boxing or MMA are number one in the mentioned countries. In the US we have American football, in Mexico or Ireland there is indeed soccer and the numbers of the Philippines are not known.


Each country has a unique betting preferences. They are mostly aligned with the popularity of the sport

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