OpenBet has lauded its betting handle during the FIFA World Cup 2022, labeling it as a record-breaking tournament whilst singling out the growth in North America as a significant achievement.
Globally, OpenBet recorded over $2bn in betting handle during the month-long tournament, held in Qatar, noting a 13% uptick on the 2018 World Cup.
Whilst the company noted a ‘strong performance’ in Europe, it was North America where the key growth was found during the tournament, which culminated in Lionel Messi’s Argentina edging out a resurgent France in a penalty shootout in a game dubbed ‘The Duel in the Desert’.
OpenBet disclosed that Canadian customers engaged well with World Cup betting, reporting a 21% increase in betting engagement in the country. The Canadian team may have exited the tournament in the group stages but their performances won fans around the world and helped to increase the betting activity of the country.
Meanwhile, US audiences were captivated by the tournament too; over 50% of OpenBet ‘Bet Builder’ stakes were placed by US-based customers. Moreover, the USA’s matches garnered over $100m in wagers, including 5.6 million bets placed on the USMNT’s 0-0 draw with England.
It is worth noting that the 2022 World Cup was the first edition of the tournament to take place with mainstream legalized sports betting as PASPA was repealed just weeks prior to the beginning of the 2018 edition in Russia.
The World Cup performed well compared to other US sports, with OpenBet noting that on its platform, the tournament was over 200% the size of the NCAA March Madness tournament across North American operators, displaying the growing interest in soccer.
No doubt buoyed by the USMNT’s success, which saw them succumb to the Netherlands in the round of 16, bettors were eager to engage with the team, placing over 12 million bets on their matches.
Moving forward, the FIFA World Cup 2026 will be joint-hosted in North America with the US, Canada and Mexico sharing hosting duties.
With this in mind, operators will be seeking to take advantage of the growing interest in soccer ahead of the tournament in three-and-a-half years time, when some of the young stars of all three teams will be reaching the peak years of their careers.
Jordan Levin, CEO at OpenBet, said: “This year’s World Cup has been a record-breaker in terms of engagement, and we are thrilled to have provided operators and bettors with an experience to match the sporting spectacle displayed in Qatar.
“Alongside a strong performance in Europe, the growth we have seen in North American markets demonstrates our ability to cater to these rapidly regulating jurisdictions, and this also puts us in good stead for the 2026 World Cup, set to be held in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
“The massive figures are further evidence that OpenBet is the partner of choice to deliver on the biggest sporting stages with the scale and reliability to fuel memorable betting experiences.”