Table tennis has earned a special place in American sports bettors’ hearts.
Despite a lack of star power — and viewing options mostly limited to low-quality broadcasts on obscure websites — there’s a market for the little white ball and small paddles.
Russian table tennis offered a refuge for gamblers looking for something to bet on back at the height of last year’s quarantines. In April 2020, it made up 50% of PointsBet’s total wagers.
Bettors are still keeping an eye on the sport, according to a report from the New York Times. Colorado citizens are the leaders of the pack.
- Table tennis was the fourth-most bet on sport in Colorado in December, with $10.9 million wagered.
- The sport popped into the top three in November, with $12.4 million in bets
- More than $63 million has been bet on table tennis since Colorado launched sports betting in May.
Contributing to its staying power? Matches are quick and offer mid-game bets that keep bettors wagering for a quick endorphin high.
“It’s fun, it’s random, and it feels like anything can happen,” one bettor told The Times. “It’s Russian table tennis. It’s exhilarating.”
West Virginia University sports economist Brad Humphreys added: “Anything you can do to get the rush you get from winning or losing a bet more quickly, people tend to do that.”