San Jose, Costa Rica, 2021-Feb-25 — /EPR INTERNET NEWS/ — Most U.S. bookmakers understand that after the Super Bowl, they must turn their attention to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. After the tournament, pay per head agents concentrate on the NBA and MLB. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a new revenue opportunity. Soccer’s popularity has continually climbed in the United States. It could break out the way a winning stock does this spring and summer.
FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, usually begins their World Cup Qualifying Tournament two years before the WC. However, because of the pandemic, the organization pushed the UEFA World Cup Qualifying tournament out to 2021 and 2022. The first days of play are on March 24 and 25 this year. Matchday 10, the final days of group play, are on November 16 and 17. But UEFA World Cup Qualifying isn’t the only major tournament happening this spring and summer. The UEFA Champions League is to their Round of 16. The UCL Final happens on May 29.
PayPerHead Product Manager Nate Johnson said sports bettors are the leading cause for the rise in soccer betting action. “In 2020, players looked for other options. The NCAA cancelled the March Madness Tournament, and the NBA and NHL paused their seasons. Not only that, but MLB played a 60-game regular season. Soccer returned to play quicker than any of the U.S. based sports leagues. It also helps that there are so many soccer leagues and soccer matches to choose from.”
U.S. broadcast outlets like Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports, and ESPN have helped introduce American bookies and players to the sport. U.S. sports networks air Champions League, English Premier League, Series A, and Bundesliga matches.“The networks may be the most important reason for the rise in soccer betting action,” Johnson said. “Teams like Manchester City and Man United, two of the most popular soccer teams, both play in the English Premier. Bayern plays in the Bundesliga. NBC’s streaming network, Peacock, shows most EPL games while FS1 showcases Bundesliga teams.”
The action has helped bookies maintain their monthly revenue after football season. But Johnson added a word of caution. “Make no mistake. Soccer has a long way to go before it approaches the action on football, basketball, or baseball. But the rise in betting activity is encouraging. Not only that, new soccer league seasons start at the end of August, and 2022 is a World Cup year. So our bookie software agents have reason to be bullish on soccer betting action. They must be careful about relying too much on it, though.”