Biggest Betting Events of the Year

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Sports betting is a big business, with the estimate annual income around the world believed to be between $700 billion and $1 trillion. 

Whether you enjoy sports and regularly place bets or you save up your wagers for just one or two big events, all of these bets add up to a massive industry.

But what are punters betting on and which sporting events take in the most money each year? 

The FIFA World Cup

Football is one of the world’s most popular sports, so it’s no surprise that a football event is one of the top betting events of the year. The FIFA World Cup is the top tournament for football fans, and it takes place every four years. Although the runtime of this event is just one month, it boasts a huge amount of opportunity for bettors. This competition starts with 210 countries who participate in qualifying rounds before playing against each other in stages to make it through to the final 32. 

But each step of the competition provides betting opportunities and it’s estimated that over $260 million is bet on this tournament alone. 

The Super Bowl

The NFL makes up almost half of the sports bets placed in the US, with the Super Bowl being the most popular betting event of the year. In fact, in 2018, the Super Bowl brought in a staggering $158.6 million worth of bets at Nevada sportsbooks, breaking the record of the previous year. It’s a huge sporting event that fans around the world tune in to watch and it provides a great deal of chances for placing a bet too. 

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most important horse racing events in the world, but especially in the US. It’s also one of the longest running sports events in America. It’s held at the Churchill Downs track in Kentucky on the first Saturday of May and is known as the ‘fastest two minutes in sport’. This event draws in massive crowds, with more than 150,000 spectators visiting to watch it in person, and millions more tuning in on TV. As with all horse racing events, it’s a big draw for bettors and has long been a popular choice for those wagering on the winner. 

Grand National

America may have the Kentucky Derby, but in the UK, the Grand National is equally as popular. Held at Aintree Racecourse, the Grand National is notoriously challenging and many of the obstacles of the race even have their own nicknames because of the difficulty horses face in attempting to overcome them. The race comprises two laps of the 4-mile racetrack, which includes 30 jumps, and it’s a hugely popular race. 

Many celebrities and even members of the Royal family attend each year, along with millions of spectators. It’s the most watched TV event in the world and a popular choice for wagers, more so than Cheltenham is or even Ascot. The betting figures for this particular event exceed even the Kentucky Derby, with over £300 million bet in 2017. 

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