Whilst the site may have a large UK bias when it comes to the betting sites and offers that we feature, our outlook on sport is very much global in nature. In this section you’ll find a run down of what the biggest events are in each country alongside links to our coverage of those events.
Country Quick Finder
The UK hosts just about every sport going thanks to the nation’s love of chasing, hitting or potting balls, and watching animals run very fast. Even relatively niche sports from the US, Europe and beyond are played at some level but when it comes to the likes of football, horse racing, tennis, golf and snooker, we really are spoiled for choice.
Football fans have two of the greatest leagues in the world plus the oldest club cup competition, whilst horse racing fans have action almost 365 days a year, with Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, the Grand National and the five Classics just some of the highlights.
The Open and Wimbledon serve up one each of golf and tennis’s four majors, whilst in darts there is not one but two world championship tournaments to enjoy. Snooker’s biggest three events are all UK regulars whilst motorsports fans get an iconic Grand Prix, and those that love rugby have the Six Nations plus countless club games every year.
The Irish love betting and they love sport and as well as traditional Irish/Gaelic sports such as hurling and Gaelic football, a whole host of other major events are held on the Emerald Isle. Horse racing is probably the top sport for many and in terms of the success Ireland has with its horses and the ability of its jockeys and trainers it certainly overachieves to a huge extent. There are countless huge races held throughout the year in Ireland and some bucket-list Festivals too.
It doesn’t have quite the same success in other sports but for a country with a small population Ireland also punches above its weight in boxing and rugby, whilst at times the national football team has also enjoyed some memorable results.
With Ireland home to some stunning golf courses – all that rain helps – it is no real surprise that Ireland is also an important golf destination. Cricket is also on the rise so all in all Ireland is home to lots of major sporting events, all served with a pint or two of Guinness of course.
France is a proud nation that excels in many areas of culture including sport. Whether it is down to the impact of their experience of the two World Wars or the French spirit of “fraternité”, France has been at the centre of many global sports movements and competitions and they host a wide range of huge events in a number of different sports.
France is one of the major countries when it comes to horse racing, football, tennis and rugby union and they hold big contests in all of these sports every year. France is a stronghold of European club rugby and Ligue 1 is considered to be one of the continent’s “big five” leagues. However, many would argue that the French Open (tennis) and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are the real jewels in France’s sporting crown. In addition to those, cycling’s Tour De France is always a huge global event in a sport where they have had their fair share of legendary riders over the years.
The USA does most things in three sizes: large, extra large and XXL; and when it comes to sports they don’t disappoint. America is a nation that loves sport. US residents love to play a huge range of sports but, as with Brits, many more just can’t get enough of watching the action unfold, be that on TV from the comfort of their own home or live and direct. Despite still-stringent laws on gambling, many in the States are also rather partial to a wager on the odd ball game too and the hardest part of all this may well be deciding which game, sport or match you want to enjoy.
The US has its core sports, the traditional games that are played predominantly only in the US and/or other parts of North America. These are the sports the average UK punter considers to be “American sports” and indeed are listed as such by many betting sites. American football (football to Americans), basketball, baseball and ice hockey (typically referred to as just hockey) lead the way.
It is worth noting that in these sports, many outside the States may only be familiar with, or certainly have any interest in, the highest tier of the pro game, for example the NFL or NBA. However, in the US many fans are hugely passionate about college sports and these high class affairs attract huge crowds and can be very lucrative for organisers. In addition there are so-called “minor” leagues in some sports which are professional and can also attract thousands of fans.
On top of all that the US hosts three of the four majors in golf, one of the tennis Grand Slams and many other top level events, the majority of the biggest events in boxing and an F1 race as well. Throw in huge horse races such as the Breeders’ Cup contests and the Kentucky Derby and sports fans are sure kept busy Stateside!
Canada is cold and many of its biggest sports are based around the weather that much of the country has for many long, hard, cold months of the year. Hockey, by which Canadians always mean ice hockey, is by far the leading sport and is a real national obsession. But there is much more to the Great White North than hockey and other snow and ice-based events.
Canada is home to the third-oldest continuously running event in golf, it hosts important tennis tournaments (second in stature only to the four Grand Slams), and it also sees regular fixtures in a huge range of sports including horse racing, basketball, Canadian football, baseball and soccer. Throw in a Formula 1 Grand Prix every year and Canadian sports fans have plenty of choice, as well as some genuinely world class sporting events to savour.
Saudi Arabia is a country where falconry and camel racing have been the traditional sports and until recently there was little interest in anything other than football. That has changed in recent times though. And whether you call it “sportswashing”, modernisation or economic diversification, the Arab Kingdom has and will continue to host a range of events including motorsports, European Tour golf, top level Italian and Spanish football, world class boxing, international tennis, WWE and much more.
The UAE, led by Dubai and capital Abu Dhabi, have been using sport for a long time as a tool to broaden their appeal as a tourist destination. Efforts to garner publicity through the world’s best sports stars and to diversify its economy have led to a raft of huge sporting events being held in the desert nation.
Emiratis may not naturally be the most sports-mad people on the planet but they are certainly rapidly becoming more and more interested. The region has a long association with horse racing and the Dubai World Cup is the jewel in the crown in that regard. However, in more recent times the UAE has attracted world class tournaments in golf and tennis, built a billion dollar F1 circuit and hosted the occasional fixture in a number of other sports as well.
In short, whilst the Emirates might not have too much in the way of top class domestic sport it certainly hosts a number of brilliant sporting events.
India is a vast country that has achieved remarkable unity despite a number of political and religious differences. Perhaps the biggest unifying factor is the nation’s love of cricket and in a list of major sporting events in the country the top 10, or even 20, would probably be cricket matches! From the IPL to the national side, there is no shortage of action and watching cricket in India is an unforgettable experience.
That said, there is more to sporting life in the nation that just cricket. Whilst sports such as kite flying and martial arts such as pehlwani might not be likely to attract international interest, another Indian sport, kabaddi, has enjoyed some crossover success.
But whilst cricket dominates and there are several rather niche sports at the other end of the scale, India also hosts some big sporting events in the world of snooker, golf, tennis and horse racing. With the country having also enjoyed considerable success in sports such as badminton, hockey and shooting too, there might just be a bit more to India from a sporting perspective than meets the eye.
Australians love sport. They love playing it, watching it and many love a bet on it, and when it comes to brilliant sporting events they really are spoiled for choice. Aussies can usually take to any sport and they play and host world class events in a whole range of different sports.
They have their core sports, chiefly Australian rules football (footy to locals), rugby league (also footy or football, though sometimes league, somewhat confusingly!), rugby union (also sometimes footy… or rugby… or union) and cricket (thankfully just called cricket!). But they also host massive sporting occasions in golf, tennis, F1, horse racing and a range of other sports too.
The domestic leagues in the four most popular sports draw big crowds, whilst aside from Aussie rules, the other three also see plenty of big international action. With football (that’s soccer of course!) also growing in popularity, Australia is home to almost endless matches and tournaments with plenty for fans to enjoy.
Kiwis are fun, friendly and open but they are also fiercely competitive and love sport. It would be unfair to say that New Zealanders only care about the All Blacks but at the same time it would be naïve not to acknowledge just how important rugby, especially rugby union, is to sports fans of this nation. It is a passion, an obsession, perhaps even a religion… and that fervour has helped NW punch well above its weight in the sport.
The All Blacks have dominated the World Cup, whilst domestically the club sides are among the very best in the world. New Zealand produces a conveyor belt of rugby talent and watching any game in the country will be an unforgettable experience. A World Cup, Lions Tour or clash with Australia is surely a bucket list item for any serious fan of the sport and such games are undoubtedly major sporting events.
Beyond rugby the country loves cricket and also hosts important events in tennis and golf. Beyond those popular global sports, Kiwis also love netball, basketball and football and play just about any sport you can imagine as well.
South Africa is a varied country that still to some extent lives under the shadow of the divisive and racist apartheid regime that was only toppled in the early 1990s. In that context, sport in the country has often been used as a way to bring the population together, and this has been particularly apparent when South Africa has hosted major sporting events such as the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 World Cup (football).
South Africa are a fantastic rugby union nation and won the most recent World Cup in 2019 (their third World Cup triumph). On the national level they host tours from the likes of the British and Irish Lions, Australia or New Zealand. At club level they take part in the Super Rugby competition and these games are all huge sporting events.
Cricket is also a highly significant sport in the country, enjoyed by many, and the Proteas compete well with the best sides in the world in all three formats of the game, regularly hosting tours and competitions.
Football (soccer, as it tends to be known) is arguably the most loved sport amongst the majority of South Africans. Though neither their national side nor their club sides are particularly strong, they have produced some very good players over the years.
South Africa hosts regular professional golf tournaments at the top level on the Sunshine Tour, which is effectively based in South Africa. Some of the tournaments are co-sanctioned by the European tour and hence attract bigger prize funds and better players from Europe and the USA. South Africa has a long golfing tradition and in terms of strength in depth they are up there with the USA and England in terms of the number of top players they produce.