Top Sportsbooks Love These Sporting Events

Top sportsbooks are making bank with the rise of international sports betting. The industry is absolutely gargantuan with estimated annual revenue for the global market ranging from $700 billion to $1 trillion. What athletic events generate the most revenue in the world of sports betting? Here, we take a look at some of the most watched sports in the world and see how much is wagered on them.

Key Points

– Top sportsbooks make their year based on just a few sports.

– The World Cup, Super Bowl, and March Madness are the most-bet sporting events every year.

FIFA World Cup

Given that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, it stands to reason that it generates the most revenue. According to estimates, soccer accounts for 70% of the $1 trillion mentioned above each year.

The FIFA World Cup, which takes place every four years, is the pinnacle competition in the world of soccer. The World Cup offers a ton of betting opportunities despite lasting for just one month.

There are preliminary rounds of competition for all the nations of the world. Bettors can usually find action on those matches. The actual World Cup competition begins with 32 teams. 

Every step of the way, gamblers from all over the world can place bets. Despite the lack of official statistics, it is estimated that $250 to $300 million will be wagered during the course of a World Cup tournament.


Top Sportsbooks Love the Big Game

If we focus just on the U.S., the NFL reigns supreme. Nearly half of all sports wagers are placed on the NFL, with the Super Bowl being the most widely bet-on sporting event of the year.

Super Bowl LII took place in 2018. The Philadelphia Eagles upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Nevada sportsbooks took in a record $158.6 million in wagers. That topped the previous year by about $20 million. Keep in mind, those are legal betting numbers.

Most experts, including those at the American Gaming Association, put the actual amount wagered at around $5 billion that year. Fast forward to 2023 and Super Bowl LVII and the amount bet on the big game this year was estimated at $16 billion.

The top sportsbooks love the NFL and the Super Bowl. Bookies will expand their boards for the Super Bowl to include the wide variety of NFL player props and special props that bettors see each year.

March Madness Excites Top Sportsbooks

One of the highlights of the sports year for both fans and bettors is the NCAA tournament. In one month, 68 teams compete against one another in seven single-elimination rounds in an effort to win a national championship.

According to data from the American Gaming Association, wagers on the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament totaled in the neighborhood of $15 billion. Approximately 26 percent of the adult population of the U.S. placed a wager on March Madness this year. That’s enough to excite any bookie.

The Kentucky Derby

One of the most significant horse races in the United States—and one of the longest-running sporting events in the nation—is the Kentucky Derby. It is held in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Churchill Downs racetrack on the first Saturday in May.

Over 150,000 spectators flock to the racetrack for the “Run for the Roses,” also referred to as “the fastest two minutes in sport.” Each year, roughly 15 to 20 million people will watch the event on TV.

The Kentucky Derby is the culmination of a full day of horse racing. Nearly $200 million was wagered on the main race alone, not including the other 13 races that were held prior to the running of the Derby.

The Grand National

The Grand National is Britain’s own horse racing extravaganza. With two laps of a racetrack that is 4 miles, 514 yards long (6.907 km), 30 jumps, and other obstacles, it is reportedly one of the toughest horse races in the world.

Members of the Royal Family as well as other A-list celebrities attend this wildly popular event. It attracts upwards of 600 million viewers, making it the most watched TV event in the entire world.

Additionally, the Grand National outpaces the Kentucky Derby in annual betting volume. The amount bet on the main race is roughly £300, or $380 million. The entire Grand National event, which is held over three days, brings in over $700 million in betting volume.

The numbers involved in sports betting are, to put it mildly, staggering. Whether you bet large or small, it all adds up to a lucrative industry. Top sportsbooks continue to offer lines and odds on numerous sports and sporting events. Their focus, however, is on major sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. Within those sports, bookies then dial it in on the major events that are listed here.