By Skip Charles in Vegas
Analysts are expecting a massive increase in sports betting on this year’s World Cup compared to the 2018 tournament.
Barclays analysts claim the tournament is expected to see $35 billion in wagers, a 65% increase from four years ago.
The tournament’s nine draws to date have been favorable to sportsbooks since most bettors pick one team to win.
While Europe is likely the bigger hub for World Cup bets, the U.S. is enjoying its first tournament since legal sports betting became widespread in the country.
During the 2018 World Cup — for which the U.S. did not qualify — sports betting was legal for around 10 million Americans.
It is currently legal for roughly 132 million.
According to the American Gaming Association, 20.5 million Americans planned before the tournament to place a total of $1.8 billion in World Cup bets.
With the U.S. advancing to the knockout stage after its 1-0 victory over Iran on Tuesday, U.S. bettors will be able to bet on the national team for at least one more game.