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Global Sports Betting At Minimum A $1.3 Trillion Industry, Expert Tells United Nations

90 Percent Of Wagers Made 'Illegally', Expert Says


An estimated $1.3 trillion, at least, is bet globally on sports every year, according to testimony by an expert on the industry in front of the United Nations. He said that other experts believe it could actually be three to four times that, given the difficulty in measuring illegal betting.

According to the, Patrick Jay, a British independent betting expert, told officials Wednesday at the week-long UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that about 65 percent of that global figure is from soccer bets. He added that the Asian market is the center of sports gambling. A whopping 90 percent of global sports betting is “illegal”.

If the “worth trillions” is correct, the illegal sports betting market is much larger than the $423 billion market for legal gambling of all kinds in the world. Legal sports betting is worth more than $100 billion annually, according to research from Morgan Stanley.

In 2014, gamblers in Nevada bet $3.9 billion on sports, an increase of 7.7 percent over 2013 and the all-time high for the Silver State. There is limited sports betting in the state of Delaware, so Nevada’s market size about covers legal sports book revenue in the U.S.

The American Gaming Association has said that $2 billion alone is bet on March Madness in the United States, to go along with $3.8 billion illegally bet on the Super Bowl.

Betting on sports is a complex legal issue. To some, having an office betting pool for football games would fall under the unauthorized category, so the term “illegal” is thrown around rather loosely at times. Real-money fantasy sports are also in a gray area.