Americans love their sports and they love to bet on them. The country spends more than $150 billion a year on sportsbooks and other odds-related wagers. That’s more than the GDP of Australia or Canada, the next-largest countries in the world. It is also pretty close to the size of the entire Indian economy (which is already huge).
Sports betting isn’t a new phenomenon in America. The first sportsbooks opened in New York in the early 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 1995 World Cup that the US sports betting scene really took off. Since then, punters from all over the world have been coming to the United States to place bets on their favorite sports. The country now has more than 500,000 registered sports betting operators, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for international punters looking to take a punt on some American sports teams.
Why Do Americans Bet On Foreign Horse Races?
It’s pretty easy to answer that question. The reason American sports fans love to bet on foreign horse races is because most of the games are broadcasted in the US, and the American audience gets to see all the favorites competing for the big prizes. It’s also great for the US economy, as millions of dollars are wagered on these types of events each year.
Of course, not all sports are created equal, and there are plenty of foreign competitions that aren’t shown in the US. The US football team, for example, rarely travels outside of North America, so fans have no chance of seeing their team play against international competition. Equally, the Boston Red Sox rarely play in games outside of Massachusetts, so it’s pretty unlikely that local fans will ever get the chance to see their beloved team play against another team.
What Types Of Sportsbooks Boast The Most International Traffic?
It’s well-documented that New York is the betting capital of the world, with more than 400 bookmakers operating there. It should come as no surprise, then, that the majority of US sportsbooks focus on the Big Apple (as do most of the bookmakers there). The island of Manhattan alone is said to have over 500,000 bettors each day, making it the world’s fifth-largest sportsbook (after Nevada, Louisiana, New York, and California).
It is likely that many of these New York sportsbooks are legally required to accept bets from all over the world. In 2016, the state of New York passed the Fair Chance Act, which requires sportsbooks to accept bets from all states and tribes (as well as countries outside of North America). In most cases, this will mean that you’ll be able to place a bet regardless of where you are in the world. If you’re in New York and looking to place a wager on the Yankees, for example, you won’t get turned away due to state regulations.
The same rule applies to all sports, not just football and horse racing. For instance, if you’re in San Francisco and want to back the California Golden Bears in their bid to retain NCAA football supremacy, you’ll likely have no problem getting your wager accepted.
Which states are the biggest consumers of gambling on sports? According to a recent report from the American Gaming Association (a trade organization representing the gaming industry), California, Florida, and Ohio combined spent over $1.7 billion on sports wagering in 2016. It is estimated that the three states combined will spend over $20 billion on sports betting next year. That’s more than the GDP of Iceland or the Cayman Islands.
What Does The Future Of International Betting Look Like?
While the number of Americans who bet on sports is steadily increasing, the growth of sports betting outside of North America is truly remarkable. Several countries, including Costa Rica, Curaçao, and the United Kingdom, completely legalised sports betting in 2016. The UK’s move was especially groundbreaking, as it was the first country to do so following the 2014 decision by the European Court of Justice that found that prohibiting sports betting was a violation of EU free trade laws. Since then, several other European countries have followed suit, paving the way for a fully legal international sports betting market.
It’s fair to say that the international betting scene is evolving, with more opportunities than ever before for fans who want to place bets on their favorite sports teams. One trend that we’ll likely see more of in the future is legalized sports betting in previously unregulated areas. Several Asian countries, for example, have already moved to legalize sports betting, and it would not be a surprise to see more and more nations follow suit.
The tide of change is clearly turning in favor of international sports betting, and as more and more countries become accustomed to wagering on sports, the opportunity for fans to place a bet on their favorite team will continue to grow.