FIFA World Cup 2022: Who are Britain’s football bettors?
November 9th, 2022, YouGov

FIFA World Cup 2022: Who are Britain’s football bettors?

The FIFA World Cup is, as expected, gaining widespread attention among Britons. This rise in attention has been even more pronounced within the gambling community, YouGov SportsIndex data shows.

Attention scores – which track the percentage of people who have heard anything about a sports event in the past two weeks, whether in the media or from friends and family – have risen from 19% of all Brits on October 1 to 24% on October 30. By comparison, the scores have risen from 24% to 30% among gamblers. The World Cup is drawing more attention this time around than at a similar time before the 2018 edition – only 18% of gamblers had heard about the event 20 days before the 2018 kick-off.

We found out in a survey we ran in August that the FIFA World Cup 2022 is a big-ticket event for sports gamblers in Britain, with nearly half of them indicating they will bet on the event. In this piece, we explore some key behaviours of football bettors in Britain using data from YouGov Global Gambling Profiles.

Firstly, it’s important to note that football is the sport with the widest reach among gamblers. Nearly half of Britain’s gamblers saying they have bet on football in the past 12 months (46%), leaving horse racing in second place (39%). Gamblers here refer to people who placed any type of bet, apart from simply the Lottery, in the past month either offline or online.

So, who are these football gamblers? Roughly four-fifths of them are men (82%). For context, men make up only seven in ten (70%) of the audience that bet on the five other popular betting sports – horse racing, golf, boxing, darts, and tennis.

The football bettors pool is also a slightly younger one, with only a quarter of the audience belonging to the 55 and above age group (27%). That age group makes up a third of the gamblers who bet on other top sports (34%).

Football gamblers aren’t particularly heavy spenders on sports betting, with only 7% of them saying they stake over £100 monthly in sports bets. This is similar to those who have gambled on horse racing (8%), but far lower than rates observed among those who bet on golf (14%), boxing (12%), darts (17%) and tennis (21%).

Which betting brands do they have accounts with?

Nearly, half of all football bettors have an account with SkyBet (46%), making it the most popular brand among this audience. At least three in ten of them also have accounts with Bet365 (37%) and Paddy Power (31%), while William Hill (29%) and Ladbrokes (28%) also fairly popular.

What are the factors they consider when choosing betting sites?

As betting brands ramp up their promotions to this audience in lead up to the World Cup, it is worth looking at the factors they consider when choosing betting companies. Just under three-fifths of football bettors in Britain say they look out for easy-to-use websites or apps (56%), making it the most valued feature among them.

That is followed by sites that have the best odds (50%) and those that offer the best promotions (36%). Roughly a fifth of them simply use a betting site out of habit (22%) and a similar proportion look out for brands that offer the best selection of matches/events/sportsbooks (19%).

Additionally, Global Gambling Profiles also gathers data on the factors that motivate gamblers to place bets. Nearly half of all football gamblers say odds are important to them when placing bets (48%). Fun or enjoyment (45%), promos available (37%), and a general understanding of previous results and form (35%) can also act as motivators.