SBC News Entain: World Cup ‘growing audience and appetite’ for women’s football

Entain: World Cup ‘growing audience and appetite’ for women’s football

As the Women’s World Cup comes to a close this Sunday, Entain has revealed the ‘exponential growth’ of betting on the competition globally.

The interactive entertainment group’s Ladbrokes and Coral brands in the UK recorded that the first three England games saw an average 21% of bets placed by women, compared to 17% in the 2022 Women’s Euros, and 13% during the last World Cup in 2019.

There has also been a rise in betting more broadly on the Women’s World Cup in the co-hosting countries according to the LSE betting and gaming firm’s data.

Dominic Grounsell, Entain Chief Commercial Officer, commented: “This summer, we’re witnessing the biggest Women’s World Cup in history, and around the world there is a growing audience and appetite for women’s sports. 

“The facts say it all. More of our customers are finding new ways to support their favourite teams – and that’s with a bet. This can only be brilliant for women’s sport.” 

TAB New Zealand – which was announced this year as the competition’s first ever betting partner – recorded a 365% increase in the number of bets placed.

The New Zealand national operator, which Entain is set to secure the managing rights to, also revealed that almost 15% of bets it has recorded so far have been placed by women, which is compared to 9% in 2019.

“As this Women’s World Cup is proving, the interest from fans is there, which paves the way for women’s sport to gain bigger audiences, more media attention, and more avenues for aspiring female athletes around the world to take up sports professionally,” Grounsell added.

Furthermore, the company also praised the US women’s team strength, accrediting them for the rising number of American fans backing women’s football. 

For their US opening game against Vietnam, Entain detailed that BetMGM saw three times the number of bets compared to Lionel Messi’s debut for Inter Miami CF.

A recent study by IBIA2, co-funded by Entain, revealed that football leads in the volume of people betting on women’s sport – bets on women’s football have grown at an annual market growth rate of approximately 20% since 2020.

Shortly prior to the 2023 competition, SBC News spoke with John Harlow, SVP of Betting at Stats Perform, about why this World Cup will present some different opportunities for sportsbooks.

He explained: “Firstly, unlike the men’s tournament, more of the Women’s group games have the potential to be unevenly balanced, with very short-priced favourites. This means that more bettors may be looking to add player legs, to increase their potential payout and make the games more interesting. 

“Secondly, although there are already several star players among the 32 competing teams, there are still many others who may not yet be familiar to fans or traders. This situation presents somewhat of a challenge.  

“There will be a heightened demand for bets on players, but the players are less well-known. Bettors will need to have ready access to player information at their fingertips.”

Stay tuned to iGaming Daily this week for a breakdown of the marketing and commercial opportunities in women’s football as the World Cup winds to a close.

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