New Zealanders Bet Big On Cricket World Cup

Betting statistics have emerged showing that New Zealanders bet more on the Cricket World Cup Final than the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup. In the wake of such an exciting summer of sport, the latest figures really bring home how the betting patterns of New Zealanders have changed. The biggest bookie serving the Kiwis is TAB, and they have published a series of fascinating reports highlighting the change in betting habits over the past 6 months. We’ll unpack the latest data and analyze the implications in the following paragraphs.

The New Zealand rugby team scrum.

The All Blacks suffered a semi-final loss to England, data suggests this game was less popular among bettors than the Cricket World Cup equivalent fixture. ©MonicaVolpin/Pixabay

As we all know the summer Cricket World Cup was one of the most exciting, and controversial in recent memory. In an epic final played at Lords, England and New Zealand went toe-to-toe in one of the most incredible cricket matches to ever be played. After both teams finished on a level score, a super over was bowled by each team. After both teams scored 15 runs in the super over, England was crowned World Champions due to having a higher amount of boundaries throughout the innings. It was heartbreak for New Zealand, and the loss felt even worse after the analysis began on a particular moment in the England super over. Ben Stokes’ bat made contact with the ball, causing an overthrow that allowed England to take another single. Fine margins indeed, and one that will go down in the memories of England and New Zealand cricket fans for decades.

The second major sporting competition of the year was the Japan Rugby World Cup. Again it was a fantastic competition that saw surreal moments played out in front of a global audience. With fans tuning in from across the world, New Zealand and England reached the semi-final. Millions watched as England dismantled the All Blacks in a game of tight forward play, where England played an exceptional defensive game. The All Blacks despite being favorites, crashed out in the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately for the English, they were unable to replicate the outstanding play against South Africa as the Wallabies took the Web Ellis trophy.

Cricket Outperforms the All Blacks in Betting Volume

According to the latest figures released by New Zealand’s largest betting company TAB, there were 26,000 more customers betting on the Cricket World Cup Final between England and New Zealand, then there were people betting on the Rugby World Cup Final between England and Zealand. As we have already mentioned, England was victorious on both occasions, but don’t let this distract from the significant shift in sporting preferences of the traditional rugby obsessed Kiwis.

In a dramatic break from this tradition the TAB’s data suggests that cricket as a sport choice is growing in popularity amongst New Zealanders. Following the massive success of the team in the World Cup, it seems the betting habit of New Zealand residents has been forever altered.

The figures show that the game played at Lords between England and New Zealand for the World Cup Cricket Final was 3rd in the highest amount of bets placed in the firm’s history. It is not completely surprising, New Zealand has never reached the final of the Cricket World Cup, so the hype and excitement surrounding this game was raised to unprecedented levels. Despite narrowly missing out on the victory in painstaking circumstances, it seems the effect of the heroic performance was positive not just for New Zealand cricket.

After benefiting from the heavy increase in betting volume, the TAB management commented on their intentions to inject funding into grassroots cricket and rugby. The generous move will undoubtedly invigorate and inspire a new generation of sportsmen and sportswomen. As Chief Executive Officer John Allen explained:

We invested heavily to ensure our betting and broadcasting businesses provide customers with a world-class experience and as a result, increase funding for New Zealand racing and sport.John Allen, Chief Executive Officer, The TAB

Where Did All the High Rollers Go?

Analyzing the disparity between the amount of money bet by New Zealanders on the Cricket World Cup Final and the Rugby World Cup Semi-Final is a fascinating challenge for any wayfaring statistician or data scientist. Making an inference over the raw betting data, we can see that the total amount of money bet on the Cricket World Cup Final was around A$86m compared to A$36m in the Rugby World Cup Semi-Final. The major difference, however, is the amount of customers who placed bets on each event. Cricket World Cup saw much more engagement across all markets, caused by a plethora of new anti-money laundering restrictions introduced just before the Rugby World Cup.

The significant increase in the amount of customers betting on the Cricket World Cup Final generated abnormal revenues for the biggest sportsbook in New Zealand. There are several reasons for the lower engagement from high-roller sports bettors throughout the Rugby World Cup. A new anti-money laundering policy enforced by the TAB has hindered the freedom to bet large sums of money. Limitations on deposit options were also activated over the summer, combined with updated account verification protocols, many large betting syndicates and wealthy clients were blocked from their usual sportsbook activities in the runup to the Japan Rugby World Cup.

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