Most Popular Bets Around the World in 2023: NFL, Ponies, Soccer Dominate

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The New Year has arrived, leaving 2023 behind. But before we shift our focus to the year ahead, Flutter Entertainment — the parent company of FanDuel and many other sports betting brands — shared a look back at 2023.

Which events were the most bet on around the world last year? Many of the answers are exactly what you’d expect, though others might surprise you.

Check out the most popular bets around the world in 2023.

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Most Bet-On Events Around the World in 2023

MarketBrandEventTotal Stakes (USD)Total Bets
United StatesFanDuelSuper Bowl$215 million9.9 million
United StatesFanDuelAFC Championship Game: Chiefs vs. Bengals$100 million5.3 million
United StatesFanDuelNFC Championship Game: Eagles vs. 49ers$74 million4.2 million
UK & IrelandSky Bet, Paddy Power, BetfairGrand National$60 million10.3 million
AustraliaSportsbetMelbourne Cup$50.5 million5.9 million
AustraliaSportsbetWomen's World Cup: Matildas (Australia) vs. Lionesses (England)$3.6 million436,000
ItalySisalChampions League Final: Man City vs. Inter Milan$6.6 million401,000
CanadaFanDuelSuper Bowl$4.9 million306,000
SpainBetfairChampions League Semi-Final: Man City vs. Real Madrid—2nd leg$548,00054,000
BrazilBetfairChampions League Semi-final: Real Madrid vs. Man City—1st leg$400,000193,000
GeorgiaAdjarabetUEFA European Qualifiers: Georgia vs. Norway$212,00031,000
ArmeniaAdjarabetUEFA European Qualifiers: Turkiye (Turkey) vs. Armenia$82,00012,000

Source: Flutter Entertainment, parent of global gambling brands like FanDuel, PokerStars, and Betfair. Currently traded in the UK, Flutter is working toward an effective listing date on the NYSE on Jan. 29, 2024, under the FLUT ticker symbol.

Kate Delahunty, Group Chief Communications Officer of Flutter Entertainment, said:

“Flutter has a front-row seat to the biggest moments in sports, and our data reinforces that 2023 was an exciting year for bettors. In the US, FanDuel saw over $200 million staked on the Super Bowl alone, and our leading brands in the UK and Ireland saw a combined $60 million staked on the Grand National, and Sportsbet managed $50 million in bets for the Melbourne Cup in Australia.

“As Flutter prepares to add a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this month, we are excited about the eventful year of sports ahead and look forward to serving up great products and betting opportunities for our customers around the world in 2024.”

Football Remains King in North America

Perhaps the least surprising data point from Flutter is the total domination of the Super Bowl in North America. The Super Bowl fielded more bets and total stake than either of the next two most popular events combined. Perhaps it’s fitting that those two followers were the AFC and NFC championship games, which decide who goes to the biggest game in sports.

Canadians were in on the action, too, placing nearly $5 million in bets on the Super Bowl. Ontario is a strong and ever-growing market. Betting on the Super Bowl could be even bigger there next year. Should other provinces expand sports betting, we might see those numbers skyrocket.

UK, Ireland, Australia Are Off to the Races

US bettors may be surprised to find some of the biggest European markets and Australian bettors didn’t place most of their bets on soccer matches. Indeed, soccer found its way to a few spots on the list, namely Australia’s No. 2 slot with the Women’s World Cup match between Australia and England.

Taking the crown in the UK, Ireland, and Australia were horse races. In the UK and Ireland, the Grand National processed roughly $60 million across 10.3 million bets. The Grand National has been held annually since 1839; it’s a long-standing tradition and a popular wagering event for bettors overseas.

Similarly, Australia’s Melbourne Cup was the most bet-on event in the country, with $50.5 million stakes and 5.9 million bets processed.

These points speak to the differences between those markets and the US. In the States, horse racing is a dwindling sport, with tracks closing and fewer platforms offering online bets on races. Horse racing remains popular among the betting populace in the UK, Australia, and beyond.

Hometown Soccer Leads the Charge in Other Markets

Meanwhile, the other markets Flutter collected data for showcase a certain home-turf loyalty among soccer (football) fans.

Italy, Spain, Georgia, and Armenia all bet the most on matches involving their national or most popular league team. Brazil is the only outlier here, with $400,000 bet on the Real Madrid-Man City match.

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About the Author
Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Writer and Contributor
Cole Rush is a contributor to Gaming Today. Cole is a Chicago-based writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment spaces. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns.

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