Sports betting sector overview for 2021: Stats, key drivers, and more

The sports betting sector is big, dynamic, and continuously growing. With more and more fans taking it up every year, many entrepreneurs are keen to leverage its popularity. But what’s the best way to go about it? In this article, we will take a look at how things are right now, and what drivers and areas will emerge in the near future.

Statistics from the sports betting sector

Sports bettings remain one of the most popular forms of gambling globally. According to Statista, the sector is worth some $218 billion each year, with revenue generated by 30,861 sports betting businesses. Much of this betting takes place online, but the online sports betting sector is continuing to grow. During 2021, some sporting events noted a 206% increase in bets compared to 2019.

Online betting is reported to be worth around $67 billion every year and is set to grow to $93 billion by 2023. This is a compound annual growth rate of around 11.5% per year. At current levels, it accounts for the majority of online gambling, outpacing casinos and slots.

As a whole, the online gambling sector is expected to surpass $158 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 11.4%. This puts it on a par with sports betting in terms of growth and sustainability.

Overall, the gambling and sports betting sectors are robust, resilient, and promising. Having suffered a hit during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, it’s back and better than ever before. In such a dynamic industry, there are plenty of opportunities for investment that will safely yield long-term results.

Key drivers of the sports betting sector

Several factors are driving the sports betting sector forward. These are similar drivers to those impacting eSports, casinos, and other kinds of online gambling.


The widespread use of smartphones has transformed the way we do many things, and the sports betting sector is no exception. There are some 6.3 billion smartphone users in the world, and the figure is increasing every year. Smartphones are also getting quicker, higher-quality, but also more accessible. 

Costs for older models are coming down, and these are perfectly adequate for online gambling. The increase in the use of smartphones means more people can gamble on the go. They are also increasingly looking for entertainment when they are on the bus, having a coffee, or just relaxing at home. Smartphones provide a simple but effective way to enjoy sports betting.


Along with an increase in the use of smartphones, internet access has become easier to achieve. The days of dial-up are long behind us, and now we have 3G, 4G, and even 5G.

WiFi is also widely available and often accessible when people are out and about. Home broadband and fiber packages are relatively low cost and affordable to many. The result is we are more connected than ever.

In terms of sports betting, this means fans can stream games live and bet simultaneously. This can be done at home or out and about, as they choose.

Areas of interest for the sports betting sector

So now we know what’s driving the sports betting sector, what about areas of interest for the future?

Crypto payments

The integration of cryptocurrency payments will be a continuing area of interest for the sports betting sector. Crypto is more secure, costs less, and is quicker to transact with. It also provides an immutable paper trail making it much easier to solve disputes. Transacting with cryptocurrency can also provide players with privacy and give access to betting for those that don’t have a bank account. Lastly, it’s easier to offer micro betting with cryptocurrency, where tiny amounts are wagered on small events during a game. For example, someone could bet 1/1000 of a Bitcoin on whether x player will get a yellow card before the end of the first half. Crypto-only betting sites or sites that allow fiat and crypto payments will be necessary as we move forward.

Hands-free and IoT

The sports betting sector can benefit from the use of hands-free devices and the Internet of Things. Sports betting doesn’t require engaging with a game interface. Therefore wagers can be placed verbally. Players can do this through the use of smartwatches and home assistants. This brings a whole new meaning to gambling on the go, as a bet can be placed just with simple voice instruction. They can also check odds and stay up to date with game results via the same devices. This level of convenience can significantly increase revenue and encourage more bets to be placed.

Machine learning

The area of machine learning and artificial intelligence is particularly interesting for operators. Machine learning can help gather information on players and their preferences. This helps develop a fully customized gambling experience but also allows operators to better their products and service. AI can be instrumental in the onboarding process but also with customer service and behind-the-scenes work. Both technologies can also be leveraged in creating and adjusting odds in real-time and with more accuracy.

Emerging jurisdictions

Asia-Pacific has the highest number of sports bettors, more than North America and Europe. This trend is expected to continue due to new digital betting platforms and increased internet access. The country with the most sports betting revenue in China, in particular the province of Macau. Online gambling remains popular in Europe, with sports betting accounting for around half of all online gambling activity. 

Like with other kinds of gambling, Latin America is also showing promise. A combination of a large population that is relatively untapped, and increasingly favourable laws means it’s set to be an area of significant growth.

Contact Fast Offshore

For over 23 years, Fast Offshore has been working in the online betting sector. We’ve worked with betting and gambling entrepreneurs from all over the world. We provide a full service that can be turnkey or customized to suit. Our experienced, professional team can assist with incorporation, licensing, payments, banking, compliance, and tax. Furthermore, our in-depth industry knowledge and experience can be vital for you as an entrepreneur. Fast Offshore is here to help, guide, and answer any questions you might have. Contact us today for an informal chat and take your first steps towards success in the online sports betting sector!

Contact Us

Follow us on Social Media!