A survey commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA) has found that 8.0% of American adults – equating to 20.5 million people – plan on betting a total of $1.8bn (£1.51bn/€1.57bn) on this year’s Fifa World Cup.
The World Cup is set to take place in Qatar and will begin on November 20.
The survey was conducted by market research company Morning Consult between November 3 and 5. A national sample of 2,213 adults took part.
As well as projecting the amount that will be bet, the survey found that 29% of American adults that will watch the World Cup intend to place a bet. Of this percentage, 48% plan to place a bet online, while 29% plan to place a casual bet with a friend.
Meanwhile, 23% plan to bet at a physical sportsbook and 20% will bet with a bookie. In addition, 17% said they will place a bet as part of a paid pool or fantasy contest.
The survey also found that 78% of those who plan to place a bet said that it was important to be able to place the bets legally.
“As the first World Cup with widespread availability of legal sports betting, this will certainly be the most bet-upon soccer event ever in the US,” said Casey Clark, senior vice president of the AGA. “With more than half of all American adults having access to legal betting options in their home market, legal sports betting will deepen American fan engagement in the most-watched sporting event in the world.”
“As the World Cup kicks off, anyone getting in on the action should have a game plan to bet responsibly. That means setting a budget, keeping it fun, learning the odds and playing with legal, regulated operators.”
Last week, the AGA announced that gaming revenue in the US hit a record $15.17bn in the third quarter of the year.