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Over the past few years, more countries seemed to have realized how beneficial sports betting can be to their economy. There appears to be a worldwide trend of decriminalization of gambling. As a result, the legal gambling industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Wagering on sports is now infinitely easier, due to unrestricted access to online betting websites that once required VPNs proxy servers to access. This doesn’t mean that the underground sports betting industry isn’t thriving. Together, they make up for a large portion of the worldwide economy. Taking this into consideration, what is the size of the global sports betting market, and what are its projected numbers in the coming years?
While the actual worth of the global sports industry is hard to estimate, to say that it is massive would be an understatement. It is, in fact, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. The online market alone accounts for 39.7 billion of that total. The legal market alone is estimated to be worth around 250 billion USD. Ever since 2018, we have witnessed a trend of widespread legalization of sports betting all over the world.
Over the past couple of years, serval nations have wholeheartedly embraced the activity. And many are expected to follow suit very soon. This would lead to immense boosts to revenue, and also higher engagement and consequential and inevitable growth of the sports industry. For instance, several states in the US have totally legalized gambling. Singapore recently relaxed its gambling laws, as well.
Gambling is one of those activities that would continue to thrive regardless of its legal status. Outlawing it would only benefit and fund pre-existing seedy underground markets. And this would create a lot more collateral damage than legalization would. The offline gambling industry is projected to fare better than its online counterpart, mostly due to the ease of access, discounts, and bonuses associated with the former.
An analysis of both online and offline worldwide betting markets by Technavio found that the global sports market will grow by 125.18 billion USD during 2019-2023. They attribute this growth largely to the growth of technology and improvements to digital connectivity. The accuracy of machine learning systems and predictive tools. These tools that make use of years and a wide range of data to make predictions have made betting infinitely easier and hence, more profitable.
APAC regions are currently the biggest holders in the global gambling revenue. These countries have a vested interest not only in local sporting events but international tournaments as well. Association football, European leagues especially are extremely popular in Asia, and most individuals don’t shy away from betting them. The fastest-growing country, however, is the United States of America.
Association football or soccer is by far the most popular sport to bet on, followed by American football. Recently, eSports betting has been growing. The widespread popularity of competitive gaming, which leads to the development of several large scale eSports tournaments that attracts millions of viewers all over the world, is a hotbed for punters. Although relatively new, the eSports gambling industry will be worth 1.5 billion USD by 2020.