April 12, 2018 / Insights We are falling in love with hoops

By Patrick Galloway (@pat11g)

You’d be easily forgiven for thinking cricket was the sport Australians care about the most, based on the events of the last few weeks involving the ball tampering scandal.

But there’s one emerging sport that every pub and club in Australia should have on their radar, based on its booming popularity amongst punters.

Basketball.

“Basketball, as a whole, now ranks as the top sport covered according to turnover,” says TAB media manager, Glenn Munsie.

Golden State's Steph Curry is one of the global stars creating interest in the sport.
Golden State's Steph Curry is one of the global stars creating interest in the sport.

On the eve of the NBA Playoffs, which start this month, the TAB has confirmed that basketball has continued its rise and remains the most popular sporting category amongst punters in Australia.

“The top holding sports, in order are Basketball, Soccer, Rugby League, AFL & Tennis. NBA as an individual sport holds more than sports such as NFL & Rugby Union.”

Live sports betting has boomed over the past decade and sports fans love doing it in venues not only because of the social experience and access to immediate returns but also because it’s one of the rare opportunities they get at “in-play” wagering.

“Turnover via retail outlets is more popular in play because of legislation here in Australia only permitting that form of wagering along with phone betting, once the game has started.”  Says Munsie.

“Venues where the matches are shown are very popular because they combine the live action with easy access to betting during the match.”

Interest in the NBA has grown at a rapid rate thanks to the accessibility of games across television, online streams and social media, combined with the growing influence of Australian players who are having more of an impact in the league.

Luc Longley was the first Aussie to feature in the NBA 27 years ago, and he’s been followed by a steady stream of compatriots.

There are a record eight Australians currently active in the league including Joe Ingles, Patty Mills, and of course the raging hot favourite for rookie of the year, Ben Simmons.

In addition, there are global superstars with universal appeal and reach. LeBron James has demi-god status worldwide and his Cleveland Cavaliers are in the mix while Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors are in with a good shot of defending their Championship.

“The most popular side at this stage is the Steph Curry led Golden State Warriors from Houston Rockets & the Cavs.” Confirms Munsie.

The NBA Playoffs begin Sunday, April 15 AEST.

The best eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences will do battle in best of seven game series, before the two Conference winners go head to head in the NBA Finals in June.

ESPN is the place to go for coverage. 

The Sportsyear Engine details start and broadcast information for every NBA match and every other sport. It’s the perfect tool to help venues to get the most out of live sport.