World Cup Sees Surge in Betting Site Sign-Ups

The 2018 World Cup created a surge in new sign-ups as the leading betting operators saw more than six million people speculate on the summer event.

Sky Bet World Cup.

The Sky Sports team helped make Sky Bet the go-to destination for punters this summer. (Image: Sky Sports)

Following France’s World Cup final win, polling organisation YouGov conducted a review of the recent betting activity across the UK. Surveying 2,061 British consumers, the data analytics firm found that more than one million new registrations were tracked during the tournament.

New Punters Reach for the Sky

Sky Bet emerged as the most attractive destination, with 25 percent of newbies taking advantage of the site’s online offers. In line with this stat, YouGov’s data also showed that Sky Bet had the greatest share of nation’s betting activity.

Following a report by The Guardian’s that calculated World Cup betting topped £2.5 billion, YouGov’s researchers found that Sky Bet achieved 30 percent market share. In comparison, Paddy Power and bet365 had 24 percent and 22 percent respectively.

One of the most significant stats to come out of the July 23 report was the gulf between live and online bets. Although workplace sweepstakes were the most popular way to speculate on the World Cup, online sportsbooks collected over three times more bets than their high street counterparts.

This figure tallies with the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) recent annual report. Providing an overview of the industry between April 2016 and March 2017, the UKGC noted that remote betting now accounts for 35 percent of all UK betting revenue.

Online Boom Offers Operators Long-Term Salvation

With remote operators generating £4.9 billion in annual revenue, it comes as little surprise that online activity surged during the World Cup. For bookmakers with a presence on the high street, the figures will offer some salvation.

Following the government’s May 17 decision to reduce fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) stakes to £2 per round, many of the leading brands now need to find a way to offset their losses. Although the legislation isn’t due to kick in for at least nine months, change is inevitable and the leading players are already having to adjust.

With the World Cup showing that new consumers are prepared to bet online, UK betting sites will want to capitalise on this moment moving forward. Even if the government follows through with its proposed changes to remote betting tax, the internet will remain the growth area for the industry.

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