British Punters Wager £1.5bn On FIFA World Cup

By Alex Smith Aug 3, 2018

A recent report – comprised by H2 Gambling Capital – found that punters from the UK wagered a staggering £1.5bn on the FIFA World Cup.

The substantial amount of money wagered is almost certainly a result of England’s success within the tournament, with the team making the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.

Even without England in the tournament, however, 2018’s World Cup was a record-breaker for bets, with the final taking in more in-play bets than both the FA Cup Final and the Champions League Final combined.

One of the world’s largest online betting platforms – OpenBet – processed a whopping 177 million bets during the World Cup, with 6.5 million of these wagered on the semi-final matches between England/Croatia and France/Belgium.

Interestingly, it was England’s first non-group stage match that brought in the largest number of bets, with 4.5 million wagers placed on their match against Croatia – which later went to a penalty shootout after extras time failed to yield a winning result.

Speaking about the large number of wagers placed, Keith O’Loughlin – CEO of OpenBet – said: “The World Cup is an undeniably popular event with global impact, and we’re glad to see our partners perform so well. Factors such as a favourable time zone, own nation’s participation and some of the favourites being beaten out early on have led to a great success story with our European customers, with some seeing peaks over 200% as compared to a normal Premier League Saturday.”

The UK’s substantial wagering is particularly impressive when compared against that of other European countries. For example, Italian punters wagered a total of £466 million, while the French staked £366 million.

Easier access to online betting facilities and a larger presence of bookmakers on UK high streets are two factors which likely contribute towards the UK’s substantial wagering during the competition, but still, it’s a surprise to see so much money wagered on the event.

Alex Smith

Alex is a 26-year-old writer from Brighton, in the UK, and for the past 8 years, he’s worked with a number of companies, creating content for blogs, news articles, and more. While Alex has written on a wide variety of topics, his speciality is online gambling – an industry he’s both passionate about, and experienced in. Having enjoyed gambling for over 7 years, Alex is a huge fan of video slots, and cites NetEnt, Big Time Gaming, Thunderkick, and Quickspin as his favourite providers. The topics he writes on are varied, but he loves nothing more than a good old slot review (he’s written over 1,000 slot reviews in his career), and he also enjoys writing in-depth gambling guides, along with casino reviews. In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing the guitar, and is a self-proclaimed horror film buff.