Tuesday December 5, 2023

World Cup Could Make November Biggest Betting Month in History

  • November could be the biggest sports betting month in U.S. history.
  • The World Cup joins the four major sports with action during the month.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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November could be the biggest month of sports betting in U.S. history.

While it will feature regular games from the NFL, NBA, and NHL, plus the end of the World Series, the biggest factor is likely to be the World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 20. 

  • The total sports betting handle for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was around $135.3 billion, per FIFA. 
  • Three U.S. states had legalized sports betting at that time, but now 32 states allow sports bets, with several more pending, according to Action Network.
  • The U.S. is guaranteed three matches in the group stage against Wales, England, and Iran, with the top two of those four teams moving on to the knockout stage.

The total sports betting handle in the U.S. for this year reached $61.7 billion through September, already topping 2021’s total of $57.7 billion. That sum was more than double 2020’s total of $21.5 billion.

MLS Ready for Action

Major League Soccer has already cashed in on the growth potential of betting on U.S. soccer. The league signed a deal with IMG Arena worth a reported $270 million to provide betting software and services.

While the league has been growing in popularity, many are anticipating a leap in U.S. interest in 2026, when the World Cup comes to 11 U.S. cities, plus three in Mexico and two in Canada.

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