Women’s Sports Betting: The Growing Popularity of Women’s Sports in the United States

Women’s sports betting is on the rise as several sports are slowly being dominated by talented women.

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Women’s sports often get overlooked in the male-dominated world of professional athletics. But recent years have proven that women’s leagues can and do generate huge profits and viewership.

Back in March 2022, two women’s sporting events saw record attendance; the NCAA Women’s Tournament and Barcelona Women vs Real Madrid Women Champions League game. Then, the increased spotlight on the UEFA Women’s Championship in July has resulted in record viewing numbers and attendance.

Women's Sports Betting

To celebrate the wonderful world of women’s sports, we are looking at some of the most popular leagues in the US and taking a look at the future of the business of female athletics.

Popular Female Sports in the US:

  • Soccer
  • NCAA Basketball and WNBA
  • NCAA Softball
  • Tennis
  • MMA/UFC
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse

Some of the most-watched and attended women’s sports are outlined below:

Women’s Soccer

With superstars like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, it should come as a surprise to no one that Women’s soccer is the most popular women’s sport in the US.

Thanks to the passing of Title IX, which eliminated sex-based discrimination in schooling and sports, as well as the massive popularity of the 1991 and 1999 World Cup (both of which ended in dramatic fashion and increased the popularity of women’s soccer), the interest in the sport has skyrocketed. In fact, in most other countries in the world soccer is considered a male sport. But here in the states, it is widely defined by the US women’s soccer team.

Megan Rapinoe US

What’s more, the US Women’s Soccer team is so dominant that they are ranked the number one team in the world. That level of competitiveness continues to inspire young women to play the sport. Almost 4 million girls played soccer in high school in the past few years. With so many young players, it’s no wonder Women’s Soccer continues to have more talent than any other country and continues to be the most popular women’s sport in the United States.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) attendance has grown every year since its first game in 2013. In 2019, it saw a 111% increase in attendance with an average of 20,098, more than any other female sport in the states.

How to Bet on Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer betting markets are available at sportsbooks across America! Whether it’s women’s European soccer, US soccer, or world soccer, there are markets now available.

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Women’s Tennis

Again, it’s superstars that this sport owes its popularity. Venus and Serena Williams are two of the best and most popular tennis players ever. Seeing them dominate on the world stage has inspired millions of young women to pick up rackets and join leagues across the country.

Much like soccer, tennis is one of the female sports in the US that has gained popularity that rivals or outshines its male counterpart. When comparing men’s and women’s tennis, interest in women’s scores higher than men’s all-time and even more so in the past 12 months. This is likely due to a mixture of US Open viewership and the release of King Richard, a movie about the Williams sisters’ rise to fame.

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In 2021, more people tuned in to watch the U.S Open Women’s Match than the men’s, peaking at 3.4 million viewers. More than 68,000 people showed up on day one of the US Open in 2019. While both men and women perform at the Open, that number still ranks as one of the highest for a sporting event including women.

Expect to see the popularity of the sport rise as newer superstars like Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, whose match averaged more viewers than the men’s finals, continue to drive ticket sales and viewership.

Emma Raducanu

And, as you’d expect women’s tennis betting exists and is rising in popularity.

Women’s MMA/UFC

We really cannot over-emphasize the importance of a star. Ronda Rousey deserves credit for raising awareness of women’s MMA after beating out Floyd Mayweather Jr. to win the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2015. She also became the first UFC/MMA fighter to win the award. In fact, UFC commissioner Dana White, who was initially reluctant to include women in the league, credits Rousey as the reason women are fighting in the UFC today.

Ronda Rousey Betting

Additionally, Giana Carano has been called the face of women’s MMA and her appearance in major Hollywood productions like The Mandalorian has further raised awareness and interest in the largely male-dominated sport.

The historic UFC 193 in 2015 held in Melbourne, Australia saw Rousey defend her title against Holly Holm in what would be the first UFC event headlined by women’s fights and fought in front of a record crowd of 56,214. Much like tennis, women’s MMA has enjoyed popularity at levels that match or outshine male events.

Women’s UFC & MMA Betting

Once again, the growth of women’s sports betting has made it possible to bet on women’s MMA & UFC. All of the legal online sportsbooks offer this type of betting.

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Women’s Basketball

Since its formation in 1996, The WNBA has grown from eight teams to 18 and has seen a rise in popularity and coverage. The WBNA just celebrated its most-watched season since 2008. The growing interest in the sport has led ESPN to build a Fantasy League around it.

The popularity of women’s college basketball has surpassed the WNBA in recent years. In 2019, the NCAA women’s tournament saw an increase of 22,000 fans compared to the prior year. On average the women’s tournament averaged just over 274,000 fans in attendance.

The Women’s NCAA Championship game was the most-watched basketball game on ESPN since 2008 with 4.85 million viewers. With viewership up 18% from 2021 and 30% from 2019, it is safe to say that women’s basketball is on the rise in the states.

How to Bet on Women’s Basketball

This is getting repetitive now, but “can you bet on women’s basketball? OF COURSE you can. Women’s basketball betting is available at most online sportsbooks.

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Women’s Olympic Sports

Surveys suggest that the Olympics is one of the few places where interest in women’s sports almost equals the interest in male sports.

For comparison, 67% of sports fans have claimed they are interested in women’s Olympic sports while 69% said they are interested in men’s. When the same question is asked about professional sports, only 42% of sports fans are interested in women’s sports while 77% are interested in men’s.

This is largely due to the fact that women athletes have been successful at the Olympics and even outperform male counterparts in some events. This makes it easier for their sports to receive more coverage in the media and therefore more attention from sports fans. And more attention to women’s sports betting! Case and point, the aforementioned US women’s soccer team routinely wins and outshines the men’s team.

Women's Olympics Betting

It would seem that the most important factor in determining the popularity of a women’s sport is the existence of a superstar to attract media attention. Here’s hoping that more sports find a female superstar to drum up more support. Then, women’s sports betting will follow.

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