Americans are expected to bet a record $1.8 billion for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, making it, “the most bet-upon soccer event ever in the U.S.,” according to the American Gaming Association. The gambling authority predicts more than 20 million Americans plan to place bets throughout the month of play.
Worldwide, gamblers wagered around $160 billion on the World Cup in 2018, but barely any of it came from the U.S.
What’s different now
Back in 2018, only 10 million Americans in three states were eligible to place legal bets on the World Cup. Those states were Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
While sports betting has been legal in Nevada since 1931, other states fell under a federal ban on sports betting passed in 1992 called Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA. But on May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the act, agreeing with a challenge from the state of New Jersey. By the time the World Cup kicked off on June 14, Delaware and New Jersey had passed legislation to make betting legal.