Betting Trends to Watch in the 2026 World Cup

Betting Trends to Watch in the 2026 World Cup

The 2026 World Cup is already abuzz among football fans worldwide. As people are already preparing for it, it’s worth noting that this edition will differ significantly from the 2022 one, spanning three countries—Canada, the United States, and Mexico—and increasing the number of teams from 32 to 48. It not only means more matches but also more betting opportunities for gamblers and bookmakers. Here’s our predictions for the 2026 World Cup and the betting scenario it will lead to.

What to Expect in the 2026 World Cup

The expanded format of the 2026 World Cup now guarantees spots for Oceania and at least 17 teams from Africa and Asia. The greater inclusivity and global participation of this event are dream-like for football enthusiasts and organizations that now have more chances to classify their teams.

The game venues are divided between 11 US cities, three in Mexico, and two in Canada. Economically, FIFA expects to generate $11 billion from sponsorships, merchandising, ticket sales, and broadcast revenues. As highlighted in this article from BBC, these increased profits will support global football development projects, including initiatives for the women's game. 

The Football Bettor Profile

To understand betting in the 2022 World Cup, KTO researched the football betting industry's behavior and the preferred types of bets. These are some of their findings.

In countries like Brazil, it is common to see people betting on their favorite teams even if they don’t hold the best odds, as football is the nation's most beloved sport. However, the impact of betting extends far beyond love. It is estimated that bookmakers experienced a $35 billion surge in revenue from the last World Cup.

Dan Pozner, Vice President of Content at Spotlight Sports Group, emphasizes the growing interest in legal sports betting, particularly in the United States. According to a survey, three-quarters of respondents spend at least an hour weekly on research before placing bets, indicating a demand for quality content to aid both seasoned and novice bettors. The survey also reveals frequent wagering habits among U.S. bettors, with 70% betting weekly and 61% placing a minimum of three bets per week. The strong link between betting and viewership is also evident, with 73% more likely to watch a game they've bet on. 

Preferred Types of Bets in the 2022 World Cup

According to kto.com, these were the three major groups of the most common types of bets:

  • Single Bets: The basics of betting, with 72.9% of all bets falling in this category. 

  • Multiple Bets: Things get more interesting here. You combine several bets into one, which can multiply your winnings (or your losses). 

  • System Bets: For strategists, these bets allow you to cover multiple outcomes. Less common, with less than 1% of bets, but a smart move for those who want to spread the risk. 

Many bettors engaged in more than one type of bet. That's right, fans didn't just bet on the winner; they explored everything they could. These were the favorite types of bets in the 2022 World Cup:

Emerging Trends for the 2026 World Cup

According to this article by BetMGM, the sports betting landscape will undergo significant changes by the time the 2026 World Cup arrives. 

Following the May 2018 Supreme Court decision in the United States, more states are legalizing sports betting, creating a massive market estimated at $4 billion. This expansion is attracting various businesses and increasing the number of betting options available to fans. Moreover, the integration of advanced technologies such as AI, robots, and cryptocurrencies is revolutionizing the industry while making it more secure for gamblers.

AI-powered bots equipped with extensive data and algorithms are expected to provide informed betting decisions, enhancing the betting experience. The usage of VR technology for immersive betting experiences and the adoption of cryptocurrencies, particularly blockchain, are also set to improve the betting experience and secure online transactions. 

The industry is witnessing exciting collaborations aimed at creating entertainment hubs where fans can enjoy games, food, and betting in one place. While the 2022 World Cup showcased a traditional yet dynamic betting environment, the 2026 World Cup is expected to be marked by technological advancements and an expanded, more integrated betting market.

For articles with several contributors, we use this author profile. Since we want our readers to hear from all of our experts, we use it frequently. This profile is also used for new sportsbook promos and offers, or our favorite bets in a particular sport on any given day. Our contributors' level of experience spans all sports and bet types. We hope we have you covered, no matter what you're betting on.

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