Sports betting stats and facts


Sports betting is a thrilling pastime that has only grown more popular since the internet has made it more accessible than ever. Often misunderstood as something inherently harmful, the truth is that plenty of people are able to responsibly enjoy betting on their favourite sports with no problems.

Here, we’re going to look at a series of sports betting stats that take a closer look at how, exactly, we enjoy this classic pastime.

Top 10 Fascinating Sports Betting Statistics

  • 50% of all people in the UK bet took part in sports betting online in 2020
  • Football is the most popular sport to bet on in the UK and worldwide
  • The gambling industry is set to grow to a value of $140 billion by 2028
  • There are 12.3% fewer sports betting and gambling shops in the UK yearly
  • £14.3 billion was wagered on sports in the UK in one year
  • 77% of all people in the US have bet on NFL once in their life
  • Asia makes up for 33% of all gross wins
  • Horse racing makes up over a quarter of all UK sports bets
  • Sports betting makes up for 7% of all UK gambling expenditure
  • The sports industry makes $400 billion gross yield per year

Sports betting statistics in the UK

How many people in the UK bet on sports?

(European Business Review) (Statista) (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Online sports betting statistics show that over 45% of people in the UK gamble at least once a month. 7% of the whole UK public wagered on sports over last year. Out of the 24 million adult gamblers that played in Britain in 2020, nearly 50% of them did it online. When it comes to the more frequent players, the sportsbook statistics tend to drop a bit, with 22% placing bets more than twice a week.

Which sport is the most popular to bet on?

(Transparent Bets) (Gambling Commission)

According to sports betting statistics online sites, football continues to be the most popular sport to bet on. Over 40% of all sports bets are football bets, with over £786 million spent on football wager betting in one year. Sportsbook statistics show that horse racing bets make up 27.3% of sports bets, while tennis makes up 5.9%. Hockey is less popular in the UK sportsbook scene.

How much money is wagered on sport?

(Gambling Commission) (Finder)

According to the Gambling Commission’s own sports betting stats database, £14.3 billion was spent on gambling throughout 2018/2019. Further sports betting statistics state that roughly 7% of this figure is spent on sports betting, which rounds it to over £900 billion each year.

UK Sports betting industry statistics

How big is the sports betting industry in the UK?


There are no specific sports betting industry size stats available. However, we do know, from the UK Gambling Commission that the entire gambling industry is worth £14.3 billion and employs 98,174 people across the UK as of September 2019. This is a decrease of £14.5 billion and 106,000 employees at the start of the year.

How much money does the gambling industry make in the UK?

(Gambling Commission)

The overall gross gambling yield (GGY) of the gambling industry in the 2020 financial year was £5.9 billion, or £4.0 billion if you exclude the lottery. The sports betting industry UK makes up a sizeable portion of that. There are few sports betting ROI stats to compare to show profit levels, but there’s still a lot of money to be made in the industry.

How many betting shops are in the UK?

(Gambling Commission)

Further reports on the sports betting industry statistics show that there were 6735 betting shops in total throughout the UK. This is a decrease of 12.3% from the previous year. It should be noted that the continuing shift to online betting and the rise of COVID-19 have likely precipitated this even further.

Global Sports betting statistics

How big is the sports betting industry?

(Research and Markets)

The latest sports betting sport stats, covering the global betting industry, state that the overall market size of the sports betting market in 202 was $66.98 billion. This is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1%, to a total size of $140.26 billion in 2028.

Which sport is most popular to bet on?


Although there are no conclusive global sports betting statistics to offer a comprehensive answer, we can make the assumption that, given the popularity of football (or soccer) across the globe, and extrapolating from the data we already have in the UK, we can probably assume that it’s the most popular worldwide as well. However, sports betting on NFL player stats and NFL match outcomes in the US are popular, with 77% of respondents to one survey saying they had placed bets on football at least once in their life.

How much of the gambling market worldwide is sports betting?


The sports betting market and its place in the worldwide gambling industry is hard to pinpoint, as regulations in different countries make reporting this difficult. However, available stats show that it makes up roughly 30-40% of the overall market.

Sports Betting Facts

The worldwide gross gambling yield is higher than $400 billion

Sports betting statistics and facts show that the gambling industry made more than $400 billion in one year. This is minus the winnings that they had to pay out, too.

The average household spent £2.4 a week on gambling in 2020


One of the interesting facts about sports betting is that the average household spent £2.4 a week on gambling. Of course, the average gambler spends much more than that, but the average is brought down by those who don’t gamble at all.

The UK leads in betting worldwide

(Gambling Commission)

The Gambling Commission’s own sports betting facts put UK betting at a rate of £14.3 billion in one year. While worldwide statistics aren’t commonly available, this huge share of the worldwide gambling yield makes it a clear leader.

The US Supreme Court legalized sports betting in 2018


The underreporting of online sports betting facts from the US is likely to change in the future thanks to the fact sports betting is now legal in the US. Of course, this depends on state to state, but there’s good reason to believe sports betting is going to become more popular in general.

33% of gambling wins happen in Aisa


While we’ve mostly been looking at facts about sports betting from the US and the UK here, Asia is responsible for over a third of all wins, showing that the market is growing across the globe, not just here.


The sports betting stats, as shown above, show that sports betting is still very much a part of the fabric of how we enjoy sports. Even if traditional bookies are closing down, the online world is picking up the slack, and more people are getting involved than ever.

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