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How much money is bet on rugby matches every year?
The short answer: A lot. The long answer: it’s almost impossible to say how much money is bet on rugby matches every year, but it’s a lot because gambling is a big-money business.
As rugby is just one game among many that numerous bookmakers around the world offer bets on, the total annual figure is almost impossible to calculate. But, to offer some indication of the sums involved, Britain’s Daily Mail reported at the time that bookmakers in the UK were expected to take more than GBP 60million in bets during the six weeks of the 2015 Rugby World Cup alone.
One gambler bet USD 130,000 – at the time the largest known single bet in rugby union – on the New Zealand All Blacks to miss out on the title that year. They won.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported in November 2018 that, the previous year, punters staked a total GBP 52.5billion with a single British-based online gambling operator – Bet365. Rugby, which is dwarfed by soccer and horse racing in popularity among betting sites despite being among the world’s fastest-growing sports, would have made up part of that sum.
Sports betting in America remains relatively small-scale compared to other nations because, outside Nevada, it was only legalized at a federal level in 2018. But the American Gaming Association said that USD 998.9million was legally wagered in January 2019 alone.
That month also marked the first time that total betting markets in the seven new legal sports markets exceeded the money bet on sports in Nevada. The figures broke down as follows:
Nevada: USD 497.5million
New Jersey: USD 385.3million
Mississippi: USD 35.2million
Pennsylvania: USD 32.0million
Rhode Island: USD 19.1million
West Virginia: USD 17.8million
Delaware: USD 11.9million
New Mexico: N/A