Sports betting statistics every bookie needs to know [2023 update]

| News

At the height of the digital revolution, the global sports betting market keeps getting vaster and more popular. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world.

In this article, we’ll lay out the current and future state of the worldwide sports betting industry through sports betting statistics and facts.

The online sports betting industry is expected to grow from $43.55 billion in 2023 to $63.62 billion by 2027. Behind it all is an increase in wealth and expansion in digital connectivity.

Our industry is undergoing dynamic changes, expanding in established markets and forging its way into new ones. Sports data providers such as OddsMatrix want to capture this tremendous potential for both operators and bettors by exploring sports betting statistics and what this data says about projections for the industry’s future growth.

As a leading sportsbook solution across multiple markets worldwide, with a product that is used by over 50 leading sportsbooks and sportsbook providers for trusted sports data, we will also be sharing our own exclusive statistics. Here’s what our stats are telling us about the future of sports betting.

The bigger picture: what you need to know about the sports betting industry

Sports betting is quickly reaching the mainstream tipping point, with every relevant sportscast integrating statistics and odds into its commentary. And the interest in all kinds of online sports betting continues to grow.

Sports betting currently accounts for between 30% and 40% of the worldwide gambling market. That’s more than any other section, including lotteries, casinos, poker, and other forms of gaming. The variation comes from inconsistencies in regulations in different countries. International sports betting is estimated to have a market capitalization of $250 billion.

The status quo of the sports betting industry

There are a few trends emerging in the industry status quo that will define the future of sports betting. Let’s see how these global sports betting statistics are framed into them.

2020 was poised to be a big year for sports betting. Some of that momentum was lost due to the shutdown of live sports, but the industry is still surging ahead and holding out hope.

The post-pandemic sports betting scenery highlights some changes that the pandemic has brought to the industry. The most important of these seems to be the pivot to esports and the rise of sports simulations (eg. FIFA and NBA2K).

Esports betting entered the scene before the pandemic but was seriously boosted by it. From a side-project, it turned into a centerpiece for our OddsMatrix sportsbook platform, getting to 50,000 monthly live events across 22 disciplines.

For the complete outlook on the current and future state of esports betting, look no further than our OddsMatrix Esport Betting Report. It includes critical data on how esport have risen along with traditional sports, betting coverage and impact on betting behaviour during the sports drought, as well as other key data for long term profitability in esports betting.

Alongside the proliferation of esports betting, we’ve also seen an obvious shift of focus in online sports betting. For players, it’s materialized into new attractive features that really bring up the entertaining part of sports betting. For operators, it’s grown into having the flexibility to differentiate their brand.

This new shift can be summed up into one aspect that holds relevance for sportsbook operators: supporting player engagement while ensuring operator flexibility. In order to achieve that, we developed the BetBuilder feature. Its algorithms allow sports betting operators to offer the same game multiples across a variety of sports, both pre-game and in-play and support cashout as standard.

Through its sports data APIs, OddsMatrix allows operators to rely on features that make a sportsbook more attractive to players thanks to extra flexibility, at no extra cost for the operator—such as Auto Cash-out or Partial Cash-out—go for classics like Odds Boost and Stake Back, that rely on incentivization, rewarding the player for placing bigger multiple bets, or even the DIY option, which lets them create their own tournaments, events or markets. All these features are OddsMatrix’s way of investing in ensuring that operators have the flexibility to differentiate their brand.

The bright future of sports betting

So, what’s next? Back in 2021, Goldman Sachs projected that online sports betting could grow by 40% annually over the next decade. And according to a report issued by Grand View Research in October 2021, the global sports betting market could have a value of $140.26 billion by 2028, with a global sports betting market’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%.

It’s truly a massive projected growth that market research attributes to two aspects:

  • the proliferation of the internet around the world
  • sportsbooks’ subsequent investment in their digital platforms, as a response to the demand for online sports betting.

As a result, it’s never been easier for people around the globe to connect to the internet, and subsequently, start betting via sportsbooks.

The overall increase in online betting greatly benefited our OddsMatrix Data Services. We had reached a great milestone in Q4 2021, surpassing a monthly average of over EUR 100 million total placed bets, almost double of Q4 2020.

Most popular sports people bet on

When it comes to sports betting, football (or soccer) is indeed king, both on the stadiums, as well as in the online and offline sports betting locations. Popular leagues include the Portuguese Premier League, the English Premier League, and the Spanish La Liga.

Overall, the Italian gaming market had an estimated market value of $24.47 billion, and it’s estimated to reach $31.46 billion by 2028. In Italy, football took in €10.4 billion in 2019 and €9.7 billion in 2020. According to the latest reliable data, football (soccer) remains the most popular sport to bet on in Italy,

“In 2021, bettors punted approximately 12 billion euros on soccer matches, roughly five times the amount wagered on tennis. “ 

Things are moving fast in Portugal as well. Portugal’s quarterly iGaming and betting revenue “surpassed €200 million for the first time in Q2 2023, rising by 42% to €206.0 million”

All these impressive stats make it easy to forget there are other sports around the world. However, operators with a keen eye for opportunities know not to lose sight of other sports with great betting potential. After all, our OddsMatrix data shows that 35% of the total placed bets come from sports and events not connected to football.

Let’s take a look at some other sportsbook statistics for sports (and esports) we believe show the biggest betting potential in the months and years to come.

1. American Football

Americans love pro football, and not so coincidentally, they love that they can (legally) gamble on it now.

According to the American gaming association, sportsbook revenue hit a record $7.5 billion in 2023. But that’s just the industry as a whole. As of September 2023, a record 73 million Americans planned to bet on the (then) upcoming NFL season. That number is expected to continue to rise as NFL games continue to produce high viewership across the board.

The appeal of the NFL for European bettors keeps on growing, and the Super Bowl remains the biggest yearly betting event on the planet.

Fan engagement is in full bloom across the European continent as well, never more so than when NFL matches are held in London and Germany. Estimates include about 2.37 million NFL fans.

American Football is of great interest to operators due to the wide range of player prop and micro-markets that can be offered, in a stop-start sport that contains an abundance of betting pit stops for customers.

2. Basketball

Basketball is not just one of the most popular sports in the U.S., but it is also one of the most popular sports globally. With over 800 million fans worldwide, basketball doesn’t begin and end with the NBA—though the league does show off some pretty impressive sports gambling data.

According to a September 2023 Associated Press Report, the NBA brought $76 million in revenue from betting, making the top 10 of the most bet on individual leagues. 

Besides the NBA, our own BetBuilder product includes multiple year-round competitions, and we have seen that Asian competitions that take place in Europe during the daytime are very popular. The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague competition, for example, is one of the biggest global indoor sporting competitions with average crowds of more than 8,000. In countries such as Greece, Turkey and Spain, basketball is behind only football in popularity.


For our industry, the biggest challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic was the consequential halting of live sports. In response, sports simulations like FIFA and NBA2K achieved great numbers in sports betting. It’s easy to see why, as these esports mimic regular sports but at a much faster pace.

Almost three years later, sports bettors continue to be drawn to betting on esports and they remain a great opportunity for operators. Esports betting grew 40 times over early last year and esports revenues are seven times higher than they were pre-pandemic, as bettors are served with round-the-clock, streamed coverage.

Although many expected the surge in esports betting popularity to be short-lived after the return of live sporting events, it has instead maintained a strong position within the online betting industry, and OddsMatrix managed to capitalize on its success. We currently offer betting data for 23 esports, and our portfolio will continue to expand in time.

Today, FIFA occupies a place in the top-five best-performing sports on our platform, NBA2K occupies the seventh spot on the OddsMatrix sports betting leaderboard, and sporting simulations within esports are consistently out-performing virtual sports in online betting.

We offer high-quality streaming for almost all esports events we carry markets for, so the user experience is different from regular sports like football or tennis when the availability of streams is more sporadic, or virtual sports where the human element is lacking.

Sports betting worldwide: market hotspots and how they differ

Success and online sports betting statistics go hand in hand. For sportsbook operators that want to expand their business and increase profits, accessing this type of data is as crucial as knowing the odds of who’s going to win, stats that help drive victory, and numbers to help influence individual statistics.

In 2023, market research points to the continued popularity of sports betting, particularly in the U.S., LatAm, and European sports betting markets. Each market has its own particularities, based on a specific sport, location, participants, odds ranges, a certain time of day, a particular market, and whether the preference is for pre-game or in-play betting.

Understanding these differences—and working with an experienced partner with the power of data-driven analytics—has become invaluable for operators, in tandem with markets becoming increasingly competitive.

1. U.S. sports betting statistics

In the post-PASPA world, sports betting is an increasingly popular phenomenon in the United States—one that more and more states are looking to capitalize on.

U.S. sports betting statistics show that, in just five years since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, legalized sports betting has resulted in $220 billion in wagers. Dozens of legislatures have opened the doors to sports betting in their states and more governors are signing sports-betting legislation each year.

It’s no wonder, with 46% of American adults having at least some interest in sports betting. That equates to 106 million people, which is significantly more than 7.3 million who are already daily fantasy bettors.

The U.S., especially, is seeing sports betting data rise in importance on a month-by-month basis. American operators, leagues, and media brands rely on automated feeds for their insights, with the industry now demanding accurate odds quickly.

OddsMatrix understands that catering to these demands as a provider that can offer flexibility and competitive advantages is the only way to both attract and retain a sizable player base, something that every emerging U.S. market will want to do.

And with a handful of states considering some form of sports betting, the odds are only going to increase over time. In fact, the forecast for revenue from online sports betting in the U.S. for 2023 is $7.62 billion. By 2027, that number is expected to exceed $14.44 billion.

Legal sports betting is now available in 30 states and Washington, D.C., with more states expected to join in the future. For example, North Carolina sports betting expanded following a betting bill signed on June 14, 2023, with online sports betting having a tentative 2024 launch date.

2. European sports betting market statistics

The EU market is the largest and most competitive for online gambling. According to the European Gaming & Betting Association, Europe’s gambling market “reached €108,5bn gross gaming revenue, an 8% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and a 23% rise compared to 2021.”

The European Gaming & Betting Association reported some interesting findings vis a vis online gambling shares of national gambling markets:

Significant differences exist in the online shares of the different national gambling markets in Europe. In 2021, Sweden was the European country with the highest share (80%) of its gambling activity taking place online, followed by Latvia (75%), Lithuania (67%), Romania (65%) and the UK (65%). Notably, many countries that have much larger gambling markets, by revenue, such as Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, still had a relatively low online share of their respective gambling market

Another trend expected to continue is the increasing use of mobile devices (phones and tablets) for online gambling: “The share of Europe’s online activity taking place on mobile devices (phones and tablets) continued its growth trend in 2022, with 53% of online bets placed on mobile devices and 47% of online bets placed from desktops”.

3. LatAm sports betting statistics

The Latin American sports betting market is very similar to the European one, even though legislation is far from harmonized across the continent. However, they still present differences, mostly in terms of punters’ behaviour, with higher rates for pre-live bets, a stronger presence in retail, and a reduced penetration rate of mobile betting.

Retail betting has a strong foothold in the LatAm market. It clearly brings clear benefits, such as the social component—betting shops have a very cosy set up, where punters come and sit for hours, watching the events together—and the marketing aspect since venues are usually located in high-traffic areas, where there’s a lot of brand awareness to be gained.

On the other hand, online sports betting has proved to be an extraordinary safety net, especially in the last two years. OddsMatrix sees a lot of potential in uniting the two wherever possible and creating a seamless brand experience from online to offline. In fact, we’ve been developing a product that caters to retail operators, which will be a massive addition to our portfolio and will enable us to offer omnichannel solutions for Latin America.

Expand your sports booking business and increase profits using the right tools

Consumers are putting unprecedented levels of demands on operators to deliver a consistently high standard product—regardless of their country, device, chosen sport or time of day. Using the right tools, such as the OddsMatrix sportsbook solution, which combines modern front-end and sophisticated back-office, operators will have access to complete customizability, support, and monitoring, helping them gain the upper hand and come out on top of their competition.

Covering a huge chunk of the tournaments and leagues, OddsMatrix Bookmaker Feed is a great solution for sports and esports betting providers to build their business with the most reliable and accurate data.

In 2022, sportsbook operators are looking to make key moves that will rapidly expand their sports business and increase profits. OddsMatrix provides the necessary tools to make this happen:

  • The best odds within the latest automated sportsbook platform.
  • Extensive sports, esports and live and pre-live markets, coverage of local and major international events, plus a wide selection of in-play betting opportunities.
  • Complete control of odds and payouts across any sport, market, game, at any time.
  • The ability to adjust odds at any point to maintain optimum risk levels and offer players the best odds for local and international events.
  • Configurable localized content and payment methods are essential when targeting specific audiences and managing local payment options.
  • An advanced bonus system that simplifies operational tasks and allows operators to concentrate on enriching the player experience.

The OddsMatrix betting solution empowers clients to unleash bold ideas and deliver outstanding player experiences in the U.S., European, and LatAm markets, guaranteeing one of the most precise pre-match and live data services in the industry.

As a provider, our job at OddsMatrix is to make sure that operators can enjoy the same flexibility when using our software as they could if they owned it outright. This includes features that will set you apart from the competition, such as:

  • cross-checked data
  • fast settlement
  • data feed aggregation
  • data granularity
  • customisable feed content
  • multiple languages
  • 24/7 monitoring

Numbers and statistics drive sports betting results. The more you know, the more likely you are to win. Get in touch and let’s identify the choices and support that empower you to thrive and be highly profitable in your markets.