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For the First Time in 16 Years, You Can Bet the Olympics in Vegas

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Aug/08/2016

  • Halt to wagering on Olympics came 16 years ago as a result of mounting pressure from Senator John McCain
  • Most bets coming in on basketball, Vegas sportsbook director reveals
  • Olympic bets were stopped due to concerns over manipulation of young impressionable athletes
  • The International Olympic Committee has partnered up with a London-based company to monitor bets on the games

Las Vegas sportsbooks are permitting bets on the Olympics for the first time in 16 years. 

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It was Arizona Republican Senator that led a crusade to stop gambling on the Olympics all those years ago. Nevada pushed back instead of compromising with a ban on Olympic betting.

And the most popular event seeing wagering action?

“We’re looking at basketball being the most popular betting sport for this year’s Olympics,” Jay Kornegay of the Westgate Superbook told News 3 in Las Vegas.

When it comes to the Olympics, concerns have been raised over manipulation of athletes, many of whom are seen as young and impressionable.

“It doesn't matter if it's the Olympics or the NFL ... we'll be monitoring wagers to see if there's anything suspicious,” said Kornegay.

News 3 notes that any contest where the U.S. has a shot at medaling is getting a lot of attention from bettors, including basketball, swimming, and soccer, to name a few.

The International Olympic Committee has partnered up with a London-based company to monitor bets on the games. You can bet they’ll be taking a close look at what happens in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the United Kingdom has long accepted bets on the Olympics.

“Although unlikely to reach the dizzy heights of London 2012, the vast majority of our customers believe that Team GB will produce a significant haul,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams. The company spoke after reporting a 1 percent gain in first-half net revenue Friday.

Team GB won a record 65 medals at the London 2012 Olympics, 29 of them gold, as British bookmakers handled 80 million pounds ($105.1 million) in bets.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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