The Most Popular Sports for Illegal Gambling (part 2)

Posted: July 29, 2015

Updated: July 29, 2015

We continue to look at the most common sports for illegal gambling.

When illegal gambling is mentioned, it’s common for people to envision mobsters, bookies, racketeering and graphic violence. Although much of the world, outside US gambling laws, is rendered from a Scorsese film is over, technology has brought us a “brave new world” of conveniences that can allow everyone to gamble illegally for big bucks. The computer has become champion of the office and of the bookmaker.

● The NBA lags behind college basketball because the season is too long
● Baseball isn’t as popular to wage on because of the lack of point spreads
● Horse racing has been declining between 7 and 10 percent yearly since 2008

Nowadays Americans can gamble illegally in plain view of their bosses and co-workers. Or go home and spend many lonely nights hunched over a keyboard or touch screen with dreams of getting rich. If performed in moderation, gambling can be fun and rewarding, but in large doses could make you broke and in a prison cell. Let’s look more at the sports that American’s most gamble on illegally.

The NBA and Major League Baseball finally make the list

Although the National Basketball Association tends to attract numerous illegal gamblers in America is lags behind Football and college. In terms of popularity, basketball is just as popular as ever. Gambling strategist and author Wayne Allyn Root claims that perhaps length is a problem. “I think the NBA lags behind college basketball because the season is too long, and the players often just don’t seem to care.”

Joakim Noah Reggie Evans Bulls Nets

No wonder Adam Silver talks about legalizing sports betting, there’s a lot of money to be made

Another issue is the intensity. March Madness is a month of “nail biting” excitement, whereas the NBA playoffs are a longer process that involves series rather than a single game. Root said “You don’t have the intensity or tradition of college basketball. If you attend powerhouses like Duke, Kansas and UCLA, you learn to love (and wager on) college basketball for the rest of your life. The NBA doesn’t have that going for it.” That being said USD 35 to 40 billion illegally wagered on it isn’t anything to scoff at.

Major League Baseball accounts for USD 30 to 40 billion that’s illegally wagered yearly. MLB isn’t nearly as popular of a sport for illegal gambling as is football and basketball. There are several reasons for this. Root explains a few. “Baseball is not a big betting sport because of the lack of point spreads. In baseball you have odds, thereby producing big favorites and big underdogs. Without the handicap of point spreads that makes football so competitive, you just loss the betting excitement.”

Many people consider baseball “America’s National Sport.” This is due to the fact that baseball was the earliest organized professional sport in the U.S. Its popularity hit a major surge in the in the early 1900’s as immigrants started to demonstrate their athletic prowess on the baseball diamond. Many people working towards the “American Dream” found promise and hope in their sports heroes. Although baseball still makes gambling news, much of that nostalgic spirit is gone.

Horse Racing, boxing and hockey falls as Mixed Martial Arts rises

Horse Racing was the original sport upon which sports gambling in the U.S. was founded. For illegal gambling, horse racing hadn’t an equal. Nowadays horse racing’s popularity has been declining between 7 and 10 percent yearly since 2008. Other forms of gambling, movement to suburbs, rumors of drugging horses and the lack of centralized wagering has harmed the sports survival.

Kurt Pellegrino MMA grapple

MMA’s coming up, baby!

Boxing has always had big ties with betting. Although people can wager on boxers of any weight class, most people tend to focus more on the heavyweight championship. Due to a lack of exciting fighters like Tyson, Holyfield or Lewis popularity has waned. A new wave of contenders, in lower weight classes, has brought resurgence to boxing. Bouts like the “fight of the century” with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are forcing the gambling public to keep an eye on boxing.

Although the hockey is the fourth most popular sport in the U.S., people don’t seem to wager much on it. Unfortunately the National Hockey League is probably the best sport to gamble on because bookmakers spend less time making the lines for games. As a result, gamblers have greater opportunities to make money. Due to its lack of popularity outside of Canada and the U.S., hockey won’t rise higher on the list for a long time. Combined with boxing and horse racing, wagers on hockey are USD 1-3 billion yearly.

Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is seeing a massive surge of popularity in the past 10 years. Now MMA is drawing more American Punters than boxing. This is due to the fact that apart from the most popular boxers like Mayweather and Pacquiao, most people don’t care as much about boxing. A fight doesn’t have to make US gambling news in order for it to draw gamblers. MMA leagues like UFC provide a lot more fights on a weekly bases and that equates to more opportunities to gamble.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments