The World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday.
So the 2026 World Cup, a joint effort between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, is not too far off.
Eleven American locations in nine states host games in one of the most popular and profitable sports betting events on the planet. Sports tourists flock to the United States, competing for tickets with those who want to go home.
And make bets on games. Lots of bets. One way or the other.
They may return home before they land in North America. But they may still want to make bets as the tournament progresses.
When licensed sports betting applications are banned in their home states in the United States, they have three options if they are in a country where sports betting is legal:
- Download an app from a company licensed here and learn that — barring some big law change in the next four years — a Social Security number or other proof of citizenship is absolutely necessary to get a US loan. A PointsBet Australia account, for example, does not work in the United States, the company confirmed.
- Try an illegal sports book.
- Find a marketing playbook.
This may not be a bad result for the Europeans, who still have an affinity for sportsbooks and kiosks, as Americans spend more than 90% of their money on mobile devices, in or online.
Sportsbooks may have found their niche in the American sports betting market, which is almost a decade old.
No matter what, fans and champions should expect their national team to be in Boston, East Rutherford, NJ/New York City, Philadelphia or Seattle.
- Mobile sports betting and shopping is available in New Jersey, where the 2026 World Cup games will be played, and in New York, where fans spend most of their time away from MetLife Stadium.
- Sports betting is legal and available online and via mobile in Pennsylvania, and many retail options are available around Lincoln Financial Field.
- Commercial sports betting continues in Washington’s public casinos, a short walk from metro Seattle and Lumen Field.
Only four of America’s 11 locations are in states with legal sports betting.
Most US World Cup host countries do not have Legal Sports Betting
The 2026 World Cup has six venues in four countries where 31% of the US population has yet to legalize sports betting.
- California: SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles; Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco Bay Area
- Georgia: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
- Florida: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami (Miami Gardens)
- Texas: AT&T Stadium, Dallas; NRG Stadium, Houston
Well, it’s time. But legalizing and implementing sports betting takes time.
In particular, California voters rejected two attempts to legalize sports betting on November 8. Most industry observers do not see another action being launched in in a work-weary country until 2024.
Pro sports groups in Georgia have bemoaned the loss of revenue without legislative funding, but not so much, they lost an ally when Democrat Stacey Abrams lost her race for governor.
The Rock that allowed the Seminole Nation, through its Hard Rock Digital brand, to offer sports betting in Florida is still in trouble in a federal appeals court, and observers will see in 2025 it is possible.
Texas takes a more aggressive stance against gambling as the state legislature meets in odd years, but two of those come before the World Cup. to Dallas and Houston.
Missouri, which will host the World Cup in Kansas City, may be the next unsanctioned sports betting site. There is a movement in the state, and residents of Kansas City have expressed interest in betting on NFL games in nearby Kansas, which went live this fall.
The 2018 World Cup had a huge impact on global gaming
What is the reason for this? Money There are many.
A study conducted by FIFA, the world governing body of football, together with Sportradar concluded The 2018 World Cup in Russia pulled in $143 billion in legal fees worldwide..
For context: $153 billion has been illegally siphoned off in commercial sports books in 33 US jurisdictions since the repeal of the Professional Gambling and Investments Act in 2018.according to data compiled by Gaming Today.
Funding averaged $2.2 billion per game in 2018, and the number of games will grow from 64 to 80 by 2026 as the field expands from 32 to 48. Sixty of those games will be played in America.
And the fact that the American and Mexican teams will be automatically included as co-hosts should please domestic sportsbooks that reward the patriotism of current customers.
“The World Cup is one of the premier sporting events that brings in billions of dollars of gambling, both legal and illegal,” said Brendan Bussmann, managing partner of B2 Global. “It could be a big win for those countries that have legal sports betting in the United States and an even bigger win for those with legal funding and gambling venues in 2026.”
Also read: 2022 World Cup | Hard to win Golden Boot | USA World Cup qualifiers | Mexico’s World Cup tournament