FIFA and Sportradar have estimated that the total bets placed on the World Cup are worth nearly €136 billion (AU$213.82 billion). This figure is based on the earnings from 550 bookmakers worldwide. These bookmakers were monitored with Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System, which found no suspicious bets on FIFA betting markets. There was no evidence of match-fixing or fraud, according to the gambling monitor.
According to FIFA, the average turnover per match was €2.1 billion (AU$3.3 billion). Moreover, the final is estimated at €7.2 billion (AU$11.32 billion). France won the FIFA World Cup Final against Croatia at four goals to two. As one of the underdogs, Croatia actually earned bookmakers the highest turnovers per match with 30 to one odds at the start of the World Cup. France was one of the top four favourites, along with England and Brazil. Both of the latter sides were knocked out in the final matches.
While the origins of the FIFA betting estimates have not been revealed, many sportsbooks have revealed increased revenues overall for their second quarter. For one, Paddy Power Betfair had a 13% increase from the FIFA betting markets. While French bettors apparently spent €382 million (AU$600 million) with online gambling operators. UK gamblers bet over €3.2 billion (AU$5.03 billion), which is twice as much as than the amount spent during the 2014 World Cup.
However, FIFA betting adverts have riled up anti-gambling campaigners in the United Kingdom. According to The Guardian, one network showed 90 minutes of ads during the tournament. This was nearly 17% of all commercials during the World Cup. Deputy Leader of Labour, Tom Watson, was interviewed by The Guardian. He said that the only negative aspect of the World Cup was ‘the bombardment of gambling advertising on TV and social media’. Sadly, both platforms are accessible to children, which could lead to underage gambling.
On the other hand, Chinese bans on gambling and FIFA betting saw a crackdown on social platform WeChat. Roughly 50 000 accounts were deleted after being tied to illegal gambling.