One of the funny things about human nature is that no matter where we live, what our cultural backgrounds are, or how we were raised, citizens in every country of the world tend to share the same overall "tastes". This can be seen particularly in what some might label as "vices"; those activities which could lead us into trouble if we were to not monitor them carefully. Drinking, smoking, and entertainment are some things that human cultures at some point of history have engaged in in one kind or another.
Another example of a global phenomenon that indicates the human is the massive popularity of sports betting. Wagering on the outcome of competition has been a section of every human society around the globe since people began to comprehend some of us were better at some things than others. It's a trend that continues lately.
With the increase of the online bookmaker, sports betting is bringing in additional cash, worldwide, than ever before. It's truly the Golden Age of sports gambling. Let's take a visual appeal at the highest quality sports in the world for people who like to spice up the game with a wager.
oFootball: Nope, we aren't speaking quarterbacks and kickoffs here. Instead, we are speaking about good historical soccer. It's called football everywhere in the world with the exception of 2 countries in North America (we'll get to that in a section). It is also the highest quality sport in the world to boot, and as you could expect that skill more people bet on soccer than on any other sport. International competitions, national leagues, professional and amateur all receive bets totalling in the billions each year!
oHorse Racing: One of the biggest things that horse race betting has going for it is that it is legal in every developed country. Even governments in Canada and the United States allow betting at the race track, broadly because they are guaranteed a cut of the action.
oTennis: It may surprise many to see tennis come in at third on a listing of top betting sports. As with soccer, the out of the country flavor of the big tennis tournaments skill that people from all over the world follow the sport. Moreover, tennis tends to cater to the upwardly mobile, which skill bets on tennis tend to tally up quickly. And of course, the sport has rocketed in popularity almost everywhere in the final decade.
oCricket: It never hurts a sport to have the total backing of one in all the most populated countries in the world. As the national sport and passion of the billion plus people in India, it's no wonder that cricket places highly on our list. It's not just India, either; cricket is incredibly common in all countries that have a section of Britain in their histories.
oRugby: Rounding out the top five is rugby. Again, rugby has the advantage of being internationally common, another legacy of the once mighty British Empire.
Wait a minute!
A bit surprised at our list? Sometimes seeing just a few facts about the rest of the world can really wake those of us in North America up to reality. It can be pretty tough to see that not one in all the typical American sports scratches the top five in sports betting in the world. Still, we can't end on that dismal note; here are the highest quality sports in Canada and the United States as far as betting numbers are concerned:
o(American!) Football: Ah, at final we get to the gridiron. Both amateur and pro football receive millions of dollars worth of bets every season, with the Super Bowl attracting the most betting attention of any event in North American sports.
oBasketball: Again, college and professional basketball leagues both account for basketball's popularity amongst punters. In fact, NCAA betting outstrips NBA, with the Final Four coming in a close moment to the Super Bowl as far money placed on yearly events.
Football and basketball leave every other sport in North America in the dust when it comes to sports betting popularity. Still, they are but minor players in the out of the country sports betting game!