- The U.S. saw major growth in legal sports betting in 2020.
- Other markets such as the UK, Australia, and Mexico have long-established regulated sports betting.
- The US holds up against these long-standing markets with only half the country having legalized sportsbooks.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The US legal sports betting market has been active since 2018 when PASPA was repealed and has steadily grown ever since.
In 2020, the US saw the largest boom in sports betting in terms of betting handle, revenue, and the number of states to offer a regulated sports betting market.
But with the US’s success in the young market, how does it compare to other countries with legal sports betting?
US Major Markets
What truly helped the US surge with legal sports betting is major markets like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
In 2020 alone, New Jersey saw nearly $6 billion wagered on sports with Decembers sports betting handle reaching just under $1 billion. Having a market that can rake in nearly a billion dollars in one month of sports betting surely reflects on the growth of the US market.
The US also legalized sports betting in more than a dozen new markets, which will surely bring in an even wider influx of betting activity across the state. An official report by the VIXIO GamblingCompliance estimates the US sports betting market could be worth upwards of $3.2 billion in market size in 2021.
This means that experts see over $3 billion in sports betting revenue collected in 2021 alone. VIXIO also believes that within the next five years, the market can be valued at as much as $10 billion.
The US market may be young, but it has already shown it has strong legs and can be a true powerhouse for legal sports betting. But how does the US stack up against other major markets?
US Vs. Everyone
The United Kingdom is a major market to look at to compare US sports betting, as many regulated US markets initially operated in the UK legal sports betting market first. William Hill sportsbook for example is headquartered in Great Britain.
In fact, prior to the repeal of PASPA, Britain was viewed as an example to how legal sports betting would look in the US.
With a strong soccer betting fan base with the EPL and Champions leagues in tow, it is no surprise that the UK has a strong legal sports betting market.
There are currently 8,423 active sports betting operations in Great Britain and reports show that 40% of adults between the age of 25 and 34 partake in sports betting of some sort.
In 2019, £3.2 billion was wagered on sporting events in the UK, which is equivalent to $4.4 billion US. Comparatively, over $6 billion was wagered on sports in New Jersey alone in 2020.
Legal sports betting in Australia is also a long-established sports betting market.
In 2015, approximately 574,000 residents wagered on sports. Sports betting accounted for 44% of the total gambling done in Australia with 23% coming from race betting, 16% coming from the lottery, 8% coming from EGM’s, and 9% coming from other gambling.
Sports betting is the dominant form of gambling in Australia. However, with the population of Australia vs. the US, the US market still trumps Australia even with lottery and casino gambling being more popular in the states.
Who Can Top The US
With that being said, however, other markets have the potential to be strong in legal sports betting. China for example has a population of 1.398 billion people and a strong sports fan base. The Chinese Basketball Association is extremely popular in mainland China, and the NBA travels to China yearly to play games.
Should China launch legal sports betting, the US may have a real competitor as far as who dominates the market.
The US still currently sits at the top of the sports betting food chain and shows no sign of slowing down in its market dominance.
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.