Sports betting is the second most popular form of betting in the United Kingdom, just behind the lottery. This is by no means a surprising fact knowing that the country gave birth to numerous sports and is currently home to some of the most elite teams and players in certain sports. People in the UK love to place wagers every now and then. It is almost a part of the culture.
When you put the aforementioned factors together, you get a staggering amount of £35 billion wagered money in the sports betting industry on an annual basis. To help you understand the amount, we will go through the list of the five most popular sports for betting among punters in the United Kingdom, with the help of the experts at bettingtips4you.com who have provided the necessary information.
5 – Cricket Betting
Back in early history, cricket was a sport that saw working classes competing and the gentry gambling on the outcomes of their affairs. The bond between cricket and betting has not diminished ever since. Today, the event that attracts the biggest attention among British cricket punters is the Ashes. The Cricket World Cup and the T20 World Cup are also right up there in terms of attractiveness.
Besides the standard betting markets, cricket is specific for some exotic options such as:
- Team to win the Toss
- The Top Batter in the Team
- The Top Bowler in the Team
- Player of the Match
- 1st Wicket Method
- Player Performance
However, the match winner, total match runs, and the 1st inning score (to a lesser extent) remain the most popular markets among the Britons.
4 – US Sports Betting
We have decided to put the top four American professional leagues as a single unit because the UK punters usually tend to combine these sports in a single wager. What is particularly interesting to note is that the popular American leagues are becoming more and more popular each year. We can recognize a constant growth in the number of bets and money wagered on US sports in the United Kingdom.
American football has the primary role in this field as Britons love to watch and bet on the NFL games. Basketball (NBA) comes in second, just above hockey (NHL) and baseball (MLB). Each of these sports is interesting from the bettors’ point of view in its own right. What they all have in common is the dominance of three specific markets, including the match winner (moneyline), the handicap (spread), and the Over/Under (totals).
3 – Horse Racing Betting
The connection between horse racing and gambling dates at least back to the Tudors period. One can simply not go without the other unless you are the King or Queen of England. The total money wagered on horse racing often exceeds even football and tennis but we have decided to still keep it in the third place on this list. The reason is simple because there are no popular races or events taking place throughout the whole year. Most UK bettors need to wait for a specific time of the year to place their horse racing wagers. The special time of the year involves the events such as The Grand National and The Cheltenham Festival. The former is the most popular horse racing event in the United Kingdom while the latter refers to 28 high-profile races happening across a five-day span.
2 – Tennis Betting
This may come as a big surprise but tennis is indeed holding the second position on this list. The main reason for the sudden growth of tennis popularity in the UK gambling circles lies in the rise of online betting as a predominant branch of the industry. In-play betting plays a vital part in the online betting industry and tennis is probably the most attractive sport for this type of wagering. The outcome of your bet can be known within a matter of seconds because you can literally bet on the winner of the next point.
Furthermore, the rivalry between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic as the all-time greats has also played a big part in the popularization of tennis as a sport. Now, you can only imagine the tension and the entertainment among the bettors during the two weeks of Wimbledon.
1 – Football Betting
Football is the national sport in the United Kingdom and the most popular sport globally. Hence, it is by no means surprising to see that it has the highest percentage of the population that bets on it on a regular basis. Football betting also follows the recent online gambling industry growth as more than 90% of the last year’s football bets were placed online.
Both national leagues and continental competitions last pretty much throughout the whole year and it is no wonder that people place their wagers on every weekend, enjoying the thrill of watching their favorite football stars in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Champions League, Europa League, etc. We also have to mention that football betting gets taken to a whole new level during the highest-level tournaments for the national teams such as the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship.