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Vegas Reports 2022 FIFA World Cup Betting Down

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Dec/06/2022

When we last had a World Cup, FanDuel and DraftKings were for the most part nonexistent, at least in their current sportsbook incarnation.  Prior to this period, the two companies operated as successful daily fantasy sports businesses.

It was May of 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned decades of sports gambling prohibition for most states outside Nevada.  FanDuel, DraftKings and a few other sites conducted business in a limited number of states when that year's FIFA World Cup took place.

DraftKings described the World Cup as “the big one”.  Bloomberg Intelligence’s Brian Egger estimates $1.7 billion in US wagers on the World Cup.  That is described as a mere fraction of the amount typically wagered on the Super Bowl.

For FanDuel's parent company, €340m in bets were anticipated.  Flutter Entertainment plc doesn't just own FanDuel, they run a number of top international gambling brands that include the likes of Paddy Power and SkyBet.

According to Sportradar, bets on the World Cup totaled approximately €136 billion in 2018.

Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate Las Vegas, told the Associated Press that World Cup matches during a more typical time of the year take in around the same amount of money as your average NFL game in Vegas. This year’s matches are more comparable to college basketball.

“We knew going into this World Cup and it taking place during the fall and sharing that main stage with football, basketball and hockey was going to take some of that limelight away from the World Cup,” Kornegay said. “Normally, it has the main stage all to itself in the summer. This year, it’s different and it’s definitely showing.”

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Adam Pullen, Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading, took into consideration the two dozen plus states that have legalized sports betting since the 2018 World Cup and how it is difficult to assess a true percentage increase.  It will most certainly be up.

“It’s comparing apples to oranges, but at least we’ll see how it does compare and how drastic a difference it is,” Pullen told the AP. “I’ve been pleased. I think soccer over the years keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

Even with the U.S. out of the World Cup early, Kornegay and Pullen do anticipate an increase in betting action during the knockout stage right up through the final.  Team USA still playing would most certainly help boost numbers.

“It brings the casual fan in, the patriotic fan,” Pullen said. “If they know the U.S. is playing, then they’re more likely to place a bet on another match. It’s always good for the U.S. to be involved, but you have people who are dedicated followers of the sport and they’re going to bet not only the World Cup, but after the World Cup is over they’ll be back betting the Premier League, the German and Italian leagues.”

- Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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