FIFA World Cup Makes History as Second Most Bet on Event in 2022

Latest News

The FIFA World Cup final was officially the second most wagered on sporting event of the year, according to data from GeoComply, a geolocation and fraud prevention technology company. The recent report made by GeoComply on December 19th details how over 7.9m geolocation checks were conducted during the World Cup Final. 

GeoComply, the industry’s leading provider for location verification, estimated that the 2022 World Cup received more views from US fans than any FIFA match in the past. 

Historically, other sports trump in popularity over soccer in the US, but the recent report by GeoComply shows that soccer is likely the second most loved sport in the country. American football still takes the cake, with the 2022 Superbowl raking in over 23.5 million geolocation checks. The FIFA World Cup Final brought in a surprising 7.9 million geolocation checks, passing up the 2022 NBA final (5.1m), NCAA Basketball Final (4.8m), and NHL Stanley Cup Final (1.9m).

“They say Americans don’t like soccer, but they certainly got a kick out of betting on the World Cup. GeoComply’s data disproves the myth that Americans are not interested in The Beautiful Game,” says GeoComply VP of Business Development for North America Gaming, Sam Basile.

What is Geolocation Verification

When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in 2018, states were required to perform location verification checks for players to ensure they were within state lines while visiting their sports betting or online casino website. GeoComply, the Vancouver-based geolocation verification company, is used by nearly every US sportsbook to conduct geolocation checks on behalf of the operator. According to GeoComply’s website, almost 99% of US Sportsbooks use their services. 

First FIFA Tournament for Legal Sports Bettors in the US

The 2022 Qatar World Cup Tournament was the first World Cup where US players were able to legally place bets through online sports betting websites. 

According to a more detailed press release by GeoComply, the number of fans of the sport is growing in the United States. Bettors of the 2022 FIFA World Cup final match placed an average of 4 bets, with spikes in activity reported around each goal, at the beginning of extra time and during penalties. 

As mentioned, the World Cup Final recorded 7.9m geolocation checks during the match, but how many users bet multiple times VS one-time bettors? Or a better question is how many unique user accounts were active during the match-up between Argentina and France. According to the report by GeoComply, a total of 1.7 million unique users checked-in for the World Cup Final. This figure is just over half of the total unique users for the 2022 NFL Superbowl (3.1m). The NCAA Basketball and NBA Final drew in 1.1m and 1m, respectively. The 2022 Stanley Cup Final drew in about 500k unique user accounts.

Behind the 7.9m geolocation checks during the World Cup Final between Argentina and France sits the match-up between England and Senegal. England’s last match in the round of 16 resulted in over 7.6 million geolocation checks, just 300k behind the Final match-up. The third most wagered on match was between Germany and Spain, with 7.2 million checks. 

In terms of new users, GeoComply announced that the match-up between USA and England attracted the most amount of new players, with over 30,000 accounts created for that match-up alone. 

FIFA World Cup 2026

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will undoubtedly be the most wagered on World Cup yet, especially considering that Canada, the USA, and Mexico are co-hosting the event together. The ambitious plans will result in multiple cities across the three countries hosting tournament match-ups, hopefully shrinking the burden placed on host countries. The new format will also result in an expansion in the number of teams welcomed to the tournament, increasing from 32 to 48 nations. It’s already gearing up to be the best FIFA tournament in history. 

Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: