Betting on the London Olympics 2012: Go Offshore, As Vegas Wimps Out

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Betting on the London Olympics 2012:  Go Offshore, As Vegas Wimps Out

Looking to place a bet on the upcoming Olympic Games in London?

You'll have to go offshore to do so.

The gambling capital of the world--Las Vegas--won't allow its sportsbooks to accept wagers on the Olympics.

Never fear, however.

Numerous offshore/online sportsbooks, located in Costa Rica, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, are offering betting odds on the Olympics, so if you're dying to get down on the Jamaican synchronized swim team, the sky's the limit!

The reason no sportsbooks in Vegas, or anywhere in Nevada for that matter, will be taking Olympic wagers is because the Olympic Games are technically an amateur event, and no Silver State books are allowed to accept bets on any amateur sports other than U.S. college sports.

That's the ruling of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which sets the rules for what can and cannot be wagered on in the state.

It could be easily argued that the Olympics, which get underway later this month, are actually a professional event, since many NBA pros, for one example, will be taking part.

But in all actuality the Olympics are--and always have been really--a mix of amateurs and professionals.

The Board had to decide which it is for the purposes of legal wagering and came down on the side of the amateurs, probably a logical decision since the vast majority of the athletes competing in the Olympics are amateurs.

Eschewing Vegas books for offshore is nothing new for savvy bettors who like to wager beyond the usual limits of pro and college sports.

In the past, bettors who wanted to bet on events such as U.S. presidential elections or the Academy Awards found lines offshore when none were available in Nevada.

Among the offshore sportsbooks offering odds on the London Olympics is Bet 365, which is based in the town of Stoke-on-Trent in England.

According to the book's website, betting lines will be offered on numerous Olympic events, including basketball, boxing, track, swimming and water polo.

Lesser events will also be included in the wagering action, including that perennial Olympic favorite, ping-pong, or as it's officially called in the Olympics, table tennis.

You will also be able to wager on what nation will win the most gold medals at this year's Summer Olympics, as well as what nation will win the most total medals (gold, silver and bronze included).

Now about those Jamaican swimmers...

By Tom Somach Staff Writer

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