A better way to bet on the World Cup 

June, 22, 2010

While immersing myself in the soccer betting world over the past six weeks, I've heard one anecdotal stat again and again: 80-90 percent of the betting market on the beautiful game comes from Asia. Could be Macau. Could be Jakarta. Wherever.

"The biggest bookmakers in the world are in Asia," Kevin McCrystle of the soccer betting info site WSN.com told me. "We started our business in China because soccer was something like 98 percent of the betting market there. That is billions and billions of dollars."

When you've captured that much of an audience, the smart thing to do is cultivate it by creating new products for your customers to enjoy. Apple went from the iPod (which I'm listening to right now) to the iPad (which I can't figure out why I need, but I'm looking for excuses). In Asia, the revolution came in how gamblers could bet on sides.