According to data from GeoComply, the geolocation and fraud specialist, the FIFA World Cup final between Argentina and France is considered the second most popular sports match of the year by bettors in the United States.

Transaction levels:

The World Cup thrilling match accomplished 7.9 million geolocation transactions, which is far below the Superbowl’s figure standing at 23.5 million, however at a significantly higher level than 4.8 million transactions of the NCAA March Madness Final and 5.1 million geolocation checks of the final game of the NBA season.

The figures show that Americans are interested in soccer much more than expected. Sam Basile, GeoComply VP of Business Development for North American Gaming, commented: “They say Americans don’t like soccer, but they certainly got a kick out of betting on the World Cup. GeoComply’s data disproves the myth that Americans are not interested in The Beautiful Game.” 

Second place in soccer bet count:

GeoComply has a unique view of the U.S. online sports betting market as the trusted geolocation supplier for the majority of the regulated online sports betting operators in the U.S. According to its data, the number of 1.7 million active betting accounts wagering on the World Cup final testifies to the above statement. This level was again the second highest of showcase finals after the Superbowl’s 3.1 million but again much higher than the two basketball finals and the NHL Stanley Cup final.

Regulated sports betting:

The increased World Cup wagering was the result of the availability of the regulated online sports betting market in the US. Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, Americans got the opportunity to bet online with legal, regulated operators rather than unregulated offshore bookmakers. The efforts resulted in the first FIFA World CupTM with regulated online sports betting available in the US.

Soccer gains popularity:

It was also the first World Cup featuring the USA and Canada national teams, which will host the next World Cup with Mexico in 2026. North American teams performed well in tough competition. Also, the tournament featured some spectacular match outcomes to drive interest in soccer in North America. These factors resulted in almost 1 million new accounts created during Qatar 2022 and the estimated 1.8 billion bets placed in the U.S. on the occasion.

Expecting 2026 World Cup:

GeoComply’s state-of-the-art solutions show that Superbowl remains the most popular sports event. But they also show that soccer gains popularity, as the 2022 World Cup finals attracted more bets than NBA or NHL. It is a great introduction for the next soccer show to be held across North America in 2026.