Allistair Gill, Racing Strategy Analyst (Sportsbook), shared his views on the changes in interest and betting habits following the Lioness's historic Women's 2022 Euro win. Speaking with EGR Global, Alistair discusses the positive trends compared with the Women's Euros in 2017.
On the evening of 30th July, it felt like we witnessed a step change in the trajectory of women’s football. As a record attendance of over 87,000 fans filled Wembley Stadium, continuing the trend of this tournament smashing attendance records every step of the way, it felt like they, and the millions watching around the country, were there to watch England, rather than ‘the women’s team’.
From a betting point of view, it’s hard to get away from the fact that, had the men’s World Cup been held as normal this summer, interest wouldn’t quite have been what it was. But, it wasn’t, and what can’t be taken away is what an incredible show the tournament was from start to finish, and how much interest it did drive as a betting proposition in what would otherwise have been a barren summer.
Comparisons with the last version of the tournament, in 2017, give the most like for like indications of performance, and they are incredibly positive. Across Kindred 84% more players placed 68% more bets, driving an increase of 130% on turnover. But, a dig into this betting activity shows that these increases weren’t simply cosmetic or attributed to organic growth over a four year period, but rather they show a deeper understanding and knowledge of the women’s game, an interest in betting on a deeper level, as opposed to having a few quid on what’s in front of you.
In 2017, betting on the 1X2 market made up almost half (47%) of all bets. This year, that figure dropped to 35%, as players got more stuck in to bets suggesting deeper insight into what was going on. Overall, bets on the ‘Overs’ goal line alone made up for 28% of total bets, suggesting a confidence in the ability of those playing to do the hardest thing in the game, score goals! 7.4% of bets over the tournament were Bet Builder bets, with that number jumping in the final to 8.1%. Of course, this bet type wasn’t available in 2017, but it’s popularity this year show that punters got stuck in to the tournament and had knowledge of the teams and players, rather than betting for the sake of a bet!
The tournament was also a hotbed for attracting new players to Kindred. Compared with 2017, 429% more NDPs joined to bet on the Euro’s than they did four years ago. Across the month of July the tournament comfortably topped both the actives list as well as the NDP list, being almost 40% (actives) and 32% (NDPs) higher than the next biggest. Interestingly, the next biggest ‘event’ was a roll up of all the Club Friendly matches happening over the month. Although clearly nowhere near the level of national interest, it’s fair to say that in days gone by these men’s football events, including on most occasions European and Premier League heavyweights, would have been of more interest to the betting public than women’s football. But, no more, as the women’s Euro’s left these matches in the dust.
As a betting industry, the challenges now mirror largely those running the women’s game, i.e. using this summer as a springboard to push on from here. If we want the Euro’s and World Cups to plug gaps in traditional non-tournament years for the men in a meaningful way, we need to give prominence to the WSL and the women’s game in general all year round. Include it in product enhancements, package the matches and promotions up in the same way we do men’s football. Previous false dawns, particularly in the UK, have shown us all that this summer needs to be just the start. But, thanks to Sarina Wiegman, Beth Mead and all the team, what a start it was. The men came up just short, but the women brought it home!
Original EGR Global article can be found here