The world’s biggest betting events

The Melbourne Cup
Sports betting is big business with trillions of dollars wagered on sports around the globe every year. However, there are a selection of annual international sports events that eclipse the rest when it comes to attracting bets. Many of these are the only events that members of the general public will wager money on in the course of the year.

The Premier League

The Premier League is easily the most bet on event in world sport. An incredible average of 1 billion Euros is estimated to be wagered on each game, according to the International Centre for Sports Security. Almost 80% of this betting takes place at unlicensed bookmakers in countries where sports betting is illegal, and is largely focused on match results as well as half time and full time scores.

The Superbowl

While the Superbowl is a single event that can’t stand up to the cumulative weight of cash placed on the Premier League, it is easily the most bet on annual event in the world. A staggering $4.67 billion was bet on the Superbowl in 2018, and that is just in the United States – where sports betting is mostly illegal. Bets from outside the United States easily propel it past the $5 billion mark, making it the world’s biggest single betting event.

The Grand National

Watched by an estimated 600 million people every year, many of whom will bet on only this race in the course of a year, the Grand National is the world’s biggest race betting event. This single race generates around £150,000,000 in betting turnover each year, and that’s excluding the millions wagered on informal betting pools set up for the race.

The Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest racing event in Europe. Unlike race meetings like Royal Ascot, which double as fashion events and royal pageants, the Cheltenham Festival is all about racing. The event generates as much interest in Ireland as it does in the United Kingdom, and several races at the meeting, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle are major national sports events. In combination the races at Festival generate an estimated £150,000,000 in bets annually.

The Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup betting is an Australian tradition, with up to 80% of Australia’s adult population estimated to put money on the race every year. The amount wagered is no trifle either, with $125 million Australian dollars wagered on the race in Australia alone in 2017. Taking bets in Asia and New Zealand into account, the Melbourne Cup easily takes second place as the world’s second most bet on individual horse race.