Everynew installment of the World Cup tournament resurrects the debate on the popularityof soccer in the United States.
Even NBAgreat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently weighed in on the strange sports pro-con controversy.is suddenly inspired to rise once more and proclaim, ‘Onward to glory I go!,’ thesix-time NBA MVP wrote at Time. “Andthen he drops dead. Soccer has been proclaiming this impending U.S. glory foryears, and while there are signs of life in the body, the prognosis is notgood.”
Historyshows that World Cup pandemonium has little effect on America’s Major LeagueSoccer viewership. However, the readings from one barometer clearly showincreased interest in the kicking sport. According to gamblers, the popularity ofsoccer has grown in the United States.
DavidPemberton serves as director of specialty games at the Rio in Las Vegas andsets the odds for all of the Caesar’s Entertainment line of casinos. Whileunable to give specific figures, he told Breitbart Sports, “For the month ofJune 2014 sports gaming as a whole tripled the volume of June 2010.”
Thoughthe economy and factors outside of soccer may account for much of the spike ingambling from the first period four years ago to the second one now, evidencesupports the idea that the growing popularity of European football in theUnited States plays a large part in the increase in dollars wagered.
JohnnyAvello, executive director of race and sports operations at the Wynn Casino inLas Vegas, runs the book on everything from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to theSuper Bowl. He confirmed that soccer betting is on the rise at his casino.Speaking strictly of soccer dollars, he told Breitbart Sports: “World Cup 2014 volumeis up 30% from 2010.”
Thesewagering figures coincide with increased television ratings. Accordingto the website TV by the Numbers, 2014 World Cup viewership is estimated tohave increased by 21% over the 2010 games. Contests in which the U.S. competedagainst Portugal, Germany, and Belgium all drew viewers into the eight-digitlevels. Several quarterfinal matches not involving the already-exited U.S. teamsimilarly pushedviewership to previously unknown levels for ESPN and ABC.
With theCup playing out in the Western Hemisphere, the games have been airing at veryaccessible times in the U.S., allowing average citizens to watch withoutadjusting their sleep schedules.
“As theEnglish Premier League and other [leagues] have become more accessible on TVand as the Beckhams and Rooneys are becoming household names in the U.S.,”Pemberton tells Breitbart Sports, “soccer betting is reaching higher volume inthe sports books.”
Only timewill tell if the trend continues during World Cup 2018 in Russia. Though fornow, if the mighty dollar is any indication, soccer’s popularity in America isgrowing dramatically.
You canbet on it.