Sports betting and the Tokyo Olympics
While last year was a difficult year for sports events around the world and sports in general this year is looking much better. The worldwide pandemic saw most sporting events cancelled or postponed with many different sports leagues cutting their seasons short in an effort to better contain the spread of the virus. One of last year’s major sporting events which was postponed by a year was the highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics. As is the case every four years a new country hosts the world-famous event which sees world-class athletes from around the world compete in a wide array of sporting events in order to determine who are the best athletes from around the world.
Now that the Tokyo Olympics have finally arrived many gamblers will be looking to place their bets on many different events from more popular ones like basketball, soccer and tennis all the way to more niche sports like gymnastics, archery and a few more. So how will the Olympics affect the world of sports betting and is this something gamblers should be excited about.
Is it legal to place bets on this year’s Olympics?
Before placing any bets on upcoming events during this year’s Olympics most gamblers will want to know if it’s legal to place bets on the Tokyo Olympics. In 2016 the US changed their rules and regulations regarding placing bets on the Olympics. Currently 21 states across the country allow gamblers to place bets on a wide range of sports events happening throughout the current Olympics. In Canada as there are no current official laws prohibiting people from gambling in general then Canadians can place bets at their favourite online sportsbook sites. With a big selection of events and options to choose from there is no shortage of betting options and combinations you select from.
Betting on the Olympics is not for everyone
Although it seems most people would be drawn to placing bets on the Olympics especially with so little options last year this will most likely not be the case. While amateur gamblers and those looking for a little more excitement while watching the Olympics will be placing bets on the events, they think their country might win the same can’t be said for professional gamblers. There are numerous reasons professional sports betters tend to stay away from betting on the Olympics. Some of these reasons include:
While most teams that play in a team sport in the same league have had the time to play and practice together for many months if not years. Olympic teams have less practice and spend much less time together to form the same chemistry you would see on your local sports team. This also affects the odds as there is no historical data gamblers can look at before placing their bets.
Virus still spreading
Despite the world being in a much better place then it was last year and with the addition of vaccines we are still being affected by Covid-19. While more people around the world are being vaccinated new mutations have also popped up reducing the effectiveness of the vaccines. Around the world fully vaccinated people are still catching a new variation of the virus most notably is the delta variant. This means any athlete at any time can succumb to the virus and get eliminated from competition at any time. Even athletes with incredible chances of winning can possibly get taken out in one foul swoop.
Betting on your country
Although most of us will enjoy watching the Olympics and cheering on our countries best athletes not all countries have strong contenders. You may feel national pride and want to bet on your fellow Canadian athlete however there maybe athletes from other countries which are more favoured to win the event. Are you willing to place a bet on an athlete from another country and betray your fellow Canadians? Most people placing bets during the Olympics will be placing their bets with a lot of emotions behind them most notably pride.
How sportsbook sites see it
Although the sportsbook sites are in full on Olympic fever mode with loads of options and events to place bets on the overall impact according to some of the big sportsbook sites in Las Vegas are that the Olympics won’t come close to bringing in the numbers other sporting events do. In fact, many of the big sports betting sites claim the amount of money people wager on the Olympics doesn’t even come close to the amount people tend to wager on regular basketball, baseball or football games. Most of the bets placed on the Olympics are small wagers around $100 or more. These numbers can’t compare to the large sums which can go in the tens of thousands if not more on local sporting events.
Recently John Murray the director at the Westgate sportsbook in Las Vegas was quoted as saying “recently a guy walked into the Westgate and put down $30,000 for the University of Alabama’s football team to win the national championship”. “You’re just not going to get that kind of money on the Olympics, but it’s typical for college football, pro football, college basketball,” Murray says.
There are some professional gamblers and sportsbook sites from around the world that are seeing things differently. Some of them believe the Olympics will be a great opportunity for sports betting sites to generate a tremendous amount of money. According to them some of these events may generate five to ten million per event while the Olympics as a whole could bring in around a hundred million in revenue.
Whether or not the Olympics proves to be a major sporting event that brings tons of revenue to sports betting sites or whether they turn out to barely move the needle one thing is for sure. We’re all cheering for our countrymen to win a gold. In fact, the more gold medals we win the more bragging rights we get. And if there is one thing more valuable to winning money it’s winning the right to rub how many gold medals your country won in their faces.
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