There are few nations as passionate about their sport than the United Kingdom. For many, every weekend revolves around tuning in to watch the most popular events, whether it be football, horse racing, or cricket.
Betting on the sports that people in the nation follow is also exceptionally popular, as it enables experts to find value when making selections and creates a greater level of excitement. This is mirrored by the number of bettors that gamble regularly throughout the weekend, whether it be online or at an in-store bookie. But, what are the most popular sports to bet on in the United Kingdom?
It would come as no surprise that the most popular sport from a betting perspective is football. The UK’s national sport is followed by millions across the area, with fans taking great pride in the Premier League.
Football is most popular with the working class, with most spending their hard earned money to follow their chosen team around the whole country. Betting on the sport is also popular with fans, as it was reported by the government that 28% of football fans bet on the action annually.
The only sport that comes close to the popularity of football in terms of betting is horse racing. The ‘sport of the kings’ is followed by fans of the sport throughout the year, with all online bookies offering bettors the option to wager on every race taking place across the world. Horse racing meetings are staged daily, with the only exceptions coming around the Christmas period, but the biggest events on the calendar attract even those that don’t typically place bets on the sport.
The most popular of those is the Grand National. According to reports, the race sees over £300 million wagered on it annually, with a further £300 million also betted on races over the three-day period of the National Festival.
You can also bet on foreign races, like the US Belmont Stakes. Check the past Belmont Stakes winners list by TwinSpires here.
There are few more famous pastimes in the UK than cricket. The sport is watched by billions across the globe, but few are as passionate as the British audience. Nowadays, fans enjoy cricket in all its forms, with the recently introduced Hundred being a massive hit among new and old fans.
For many, Test cricket still sets the standard, with The Ashes series between Australia and England being a key date in the diary. Betting on the sport is also exceptionally popular among those that follow it, with a staggering 27% of fans making bets on the action throughout the year. It is also an incredibly lucrative sector, with cricket betting worth around £760 million.
Rugby union is a huge sport across Europe and the Oceanic region, and in the UK there are more than enough events that whet the appetite. The most prominent of those is the Six Nations, which pits the Home Nations against one another, as well as France and Italy. Meanwhile, domestic club fixtures are also standout events in their own right, but fans don’t have the same do-or-die attitude that is adopting within football club culture.
Huge international events are the standout attractions for rugby union betting, which includes the World Cup, which will be staged in France later this year. For the most part, watching rugby and betting on the sport go hand in hand, with a staggering 22% of fans that watch the sport also making wagers on the action throughout the season. In terms of rugby union betting, no nation in the world comes close to the United Kingdom in terms of money wagered.