Patrick Jay, the former Director of Trading for the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), has told a United Nations Congress on Crime that the global sports betting market is estimated to be worth up to $1 trillion.
Addressing the UN conference in Doha on match fixing, Jay noted that the vast majority of sports betting wagers were generated illegally, and that his $1 trillion sum was in-fact a conservative estimate.
Jay stated that the rising demand for football betting in Asia, combined with easier access to sports betting services could therefore imply a much higher figure than $1 trillion.
“I’ll let you into a secret,” Jay commented. “I say the trillion figure because I can just about get away with it without being laughed off stage. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of people think it is less than that, the only three or four people in the world that I actually respect on this thinks it is two or three times that. And it is growing.”
The speaker noted the increasing popularity of illegal football betting in China, labelling the country as the ‘epicentre of the problem’. The demand for football betting is being met by live match broadcasts that are shown at optimal times for Asian punters.
“The key driver of demand in the global gaming market is the time zone, because the market is Asia and therefore if Gillingham versus Orient (two English third-tier sides) is 7pm on a Saturday night in Asia on TV, that’s going to drive greater turnover than Barcelona versus Real Madrid, which is at four o clock in the morning, and that’s a fact,” said Jay.
The week long UN conference aims to shed insight and knowledge on global crime issues and factors, in attendance our various international sporting bodies, NGO’s and international policing organisations.