How popular is sports betting in the US?

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Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Sports betting has been around for thousands of years — for several hundred years, the only legal way to place a bet was the circus or the chariot races in Rome. Roman emperors often enjoyed gambling, with Augustus in particular frequently partaking in gambling activities.

Nowadays, betting is a widely popular process around the globe. Some countries (the United Kingdom, for example) have a rich tradition of betting, and the practice of sports betting holds an important place in the country’s culture. Looking at the U.S., we see that the country is home to a well-developed sports betting industry.

According to a survey published at Statista.com in 2017, about 29 percent of the respondents said that they occasionally place a bet on a sports event. Only 4 percent of respondents regularly placed bets on sporting events. About 13 percent of the surveyed respondents said that they only once tried to place a bet, while 11 percent had never tried to place a bet but would like to try it. The largest number of respondents (42 percent) had never placed a sports bet and did not want to try in the future.ycywory_0

What about the most popular sports for Americans to bet on? Football took first place not only in the U.S. but across the globe. In 2017, about 77 percent of the surveyed respondents said that they made bets on football in the past. Basketball, which is also very popular in the country, took second place with 24 percent of people placing bets on it in the past. Twenty percent of respondents previously bet on horse racing, while 17 percent and 9 percent of people bet on baseball and soccer (respectively) in 2017.

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About Pavel Prikhodko

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Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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