The World Cup has arrived and betting on individual game results and the final has begun.
About 20.5 million American adults plan to bet a total of $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to a survey by the American Gaming Association, a trade group for the gambling industry. Of these, 8% plan to bet online, and 29% said they plan to bet with friends from time to time. At the same time, 23% plan to bet at a physical casino sportsbook and 20% at a bookmaker.
Just over three-quarters of respondents said it was important for them to bet legally. And this year, betting on the World Cup is easier than ever after the Supreme Court decided in 2018 to end a federal ban on commercial betting, opening the door for many states to legalize it.
“As the first World Cup with widespread access to legal sports betting, it is sure to be the highest-profile soccer event ever in the United States,”
AGA Vice President Casey Clark said in a statement. “With more than half of American adults having access to legal betting options in their home markets, legal sports betting deepens American fans’ engagement with the world’s most watched sporting event.”
According to the AGA, there are currently legal sports betting markets in Washington and 31 states, serving 132 million Americans, with five more legal markets awaiting launch. Only 10 million people could legally bet on the 2018 World Cup in three states.
Research shows that Gen Zers and Millennials are more likely to bet on soccer tournaments than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. 11 percent of Gen Z adults and 1 percent of millennials said they were interested in betting on the World Cup, compared to just 8 percent of Gen Xers and 2 percent of Baby Boomers.
So who do people bet on? When asked who they would bet on if given $50, they predicted that the United States would win, mirroring their own country. Another 19% said they would bet on Brazil, 17% on Argentina, and 10% on Germany.
In any case, bettors are advised to be cautious.
“When the World Cup starts, everyone involved in the game should have the plan to contribute responsibly,” Clark said. “It means setting a budget, having fun, learning the odds, and playing with legitimate, regulated players.”