World Cup Wagering Shatters Record, Adds Millions Of Punters

World Cup Wagering Shatters Record, Adds Millions Of Punters

This World Cup presented plenty of opportunity for not only bettors but also those supplying the betting. Italy shattered it's previous World Cup wagering record, extra time matches helped skyrocket profits, and the run of the Three Lions helped bring in millions of new punters in the UK.

Italy Shatters Betting Record

Despite not qualifying for the first time since 1958, Italy shattered World Cup wagering records during the 2018 tournament.

The Italian Agency of Customs and Monopolies announced that €466 million were wagered on Russia’s World Cup, nearly doubling the previous record of €270 million (set during Brazil 2014). They, and other sources, attribute the jump to the increase in the number of legal betting shops. Those increases came off the back of the country’s 2015 and 2016 economic-aimed Stability Laws.

The news comes at an interesting time for Italian wagering, as just weeks ago the Italian government passed a blanket ban on all gambling advertisements. The so called “Dignity Decree” goes into effect on June 2019, and many fear it will end up costing leagues millions in sponsorship money. Italian football powers Roma and Lazio both are paying extra close attention to the result of the “Dignity Decree” as both recently signed new multi-year deals with bookmakers.

World Cup Betting Revenue Up All Over

The announcement by the Italian Agency of Customs and Monopolies mirrors an announcement from sports betting tech company Kambi, who saw a solid boost in wagering during the World Cup. They announced a jump of 25% year-to-year during the three month period of April-June. A more dramatic jump, the period’s operating profits hit €2.4 million, while last year’s period was €300,000. After-tax profits jumped roughly from €100,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018.

Kambi attributes a fair amount of that to matches that went to extra time. Matches that went long ended up accounting for 37% of Kambi’s €307 million betting turnover.

The British tech company is also gearing up to enter the US market, having entered agreements with DraftKings and RSI. Kambi has also already applyed for sports betting licenses in New jersey and Mississippi, and plans to enter Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the future.

World Cup Inspires New Punters

While Kambi attributes their gains to extra time and launches in three new markets, media research company YouGov was busy studying betting in existing markets. In a recent survey, they estimated that 6 million people, or 12% of people, in Britain placed a bet on the World Cup.

YouGov surveyed 2.061 adults in the UK and found some exciting news for bookmakers: an estimated 2 million, or one third of those who placed bets, were new bettors that joined various websites during the tournament, having not placed bets on sports in the previous year. YouGov also estimates that at least 14% of people took part in personal sweepstakes with friends, family, or coworkers.

Online betting for the World Cup was the most popular form of betting for those who were involved, with data indicating roughly three time more bets were placed online than in person, but sweepstakes with friends and family was the most popular with more than in person or online betting combined. In terms of operators, SkyBet was the most popular, followed by Paddy Power, Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, and Ladbrokes.