Best-guess estimates say there was roughly $160 billion legally bet on the World Cup last year. This is courtesy of a Sportradar spokesperson, speaking to Forbes pre-tourney.
Americans were estimated to be “only” responsible for a little more than 1% of that.
To compare: Super Bowl betting — both legal and illegal — was probably about 10% of that $160 billion number, according to the American Gaming Association.
Clearly, the World Cup is a betting bonanza, and will be an even bigger bonanza when it comes to North America in 2026, as the field is expanding to a record 48 teams, up from 32. There will be at least 80 matches — the format may be tinkered with to produce more games — up from last year’s 64.