FIFA World Cup Final Second-Busiest Sports Betting Day of 2022 for US Sportsbooks

By | December 20, 2022

The stunning 2022 FIFA World Cup Final played Sunday between eventual victor Argentina over defending champion France in a thrilling 4-2 shoot-out was the second-busiest day of the year for online sportsbooks in the US.

FIFA World Cup sports betting geolocation GeoComply
Lionel Messi holds up the World Cup while celebrating with his Argentinian team after winning the 2022 tournament in a shootout over France. The 2022 final match was a roaring success for US sportsbooks. (Image: Getty)

Though soccer isn’t nearly as popular in the US as it is in Europe and throughout much of the rest of the world, the 2022 World Cup finale caused a flurry of activity on legal internet sports betting platforms. GeoComply, a geolocation security and compliance leader in highly regulated markets such as iGaming and online sports betting, told Casino.org that the title match generated 7.9 million geolocation sports betting transactions.

They say Americans don’t like soccer, but they certainly got a kick out of betting on the World Cup,” Sam Basile, GeoComply vice president of business development for North American Gaming, told Casino.org. “GeoComply’s data disproves the myth that Americans are not interested in ‘The Beautiful Game.’”

A geolocation transaction is when an online sportsbook utilizes GeoComply software to pinpoint where a specific player is physically located before accepting their wager or financial transaction. At 7.9 million geolocation transactions, the World Cup championship match trailed only Super Bowl LVI played in February as the busiest sports betting day in the US this year.

Extra Time, New Bettors

The World Cup final extending into extra minutes and then a shootout presumably brought additional viewers to the broadcast.

Argentina and France were deadlocked at 2-2 after 90 minutes of regular play. During the 30 extra minutes, each squad scored to take the match to 3-3. The teams then went to a shootout where Argentina won 4-2.

GeoComply said the match, which was dubbed almost immediately as the best World Cup finale ever, resulted in about 1.7 million new online sportsbook account registrations. That is also second in 2022 to only the Super Bowl.

The 2022 World Cup was the first World Cup where sports bets on the global tournament were legal in the US outside of Nevada. The US Supreme Court in May 2018 punted the federal law that had limited such gambling to Las Vegas’ home state.

The 2022 World Cup was also likely more popular this year in North America because both the United States and Canada participated. This year’s World Cup was the first time that the tournament included both countries.

Soccer Tops MLB, NBA, NCAA

American football is king in the US when it comes to sports betting. The Super Bowl is, annually, the most-bet sporting event in the country, but soccer’s strong showing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup might entice oddsmakers to place more emphasis on the sport moving forward.

The nearly eight million geolocation transactions experienced during Sunday’s World Cup final topped the final game of the NBA Finals, the NCAA men’s March Madness tournament, the NHL Stanley Cup Final, and Game 6 of the World Series.

Soccer traditionally hasn’t been a major moneymaker for oddsmakers. In Nevada, for example, the state Gaming Control Board groups soccer betting into its “other” category, which includes everything other than football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.

Over the past 12 months, Nevada oddsmakers have won $44.6 million from the “other” category. Meanwhile, American football generated net revenue of more than $202.5 million.

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