Nevada Sportsbooks Permitted to Offer Rio Olympics Betting
Wagering on Olympic events has been barred in Nevada Sportsbooks for the last 15 years, but that has all changed. Legislators have given Nevada sportsbooks permission to accept wagers on Olympic events.
Senator John McCain led the charge back in 2001 to prohibit Nevada sportsbooks from taking action on the Olympics. But times are indeed changing and the latest manifestation of the ever-growing familiarity, and comfort level with gambling in general, has come full circle in Nevada.
McCain's contention was that the Olympics were the province of amateur athletes and should not be exploited for financial gain. However, that philosophy was more than a bit flawed as the Dream Teams of American basketball had been invading the sanctity of the amateur games since 1992 and the Russian hockey teams of the 60's, 70's and 80's were essentially NHL caliber athletes.
The addition of Olympic events to the sportsbooks' slate is not expected to generate an enormous influx of betting revenue but sportsbooks will happily embrace anything that increases their handle. According to reports, betting on the Rio Olympics will add $20-$30 million to statewide in terms of revenue. Most of the wagering is expected to be centered squarely on basketball as MGM Resorts have stated they anticipate 70 percent of all their Olympic action to be focused on the sport due to the NBA superstars who will be competing.
Once again, gambling is becoming more and more part of the mainstream with the anti-gambling prohibitionists losing steam every year. In addition to bettors being able to walk into their local Nevada sportsbook to plunk a few dollars down on their sport of choice, including Olympic events, they will also be able to bet online with licensed online casinos and poker rooms. Nevada has been out in front of the curve despite federal law that continues to ban sports gambling nationwide with the exceptions of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana. Sportsbook Review has covered New Jersey's fight to allow state casinos to accept sports bets.
Online sportsbooks have no such restrictions and are expected to spread a large variety of Olympic wagering markets and prop bets.