The 2016 summer Olympics are just around the corner. Four long years have passed since the last summer Olympic Games, and now athletes from more than 200 nations are gearing up to participate in the variety of competitions held during this most famous sporting event in the world. As the athletes are training and fans and sports enthusiasts from around the world are looking forward to watching the games, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes.
As with anything else that happens in the world today, the Olympics are all about business. While most economists remain skeptical about the benefits of hosting the games, there is also a lot of controversy surrounding the social impact of the games on the cities and countries that decide to host them. While the economists, politicians and their related committees are busy working out all of those messy details, there’s another industry gearing up for the arrival of the Olympics: the gambling industry.
Sports betting is as ancient a practice as the Olympic Games themselves. Today, betting and lotteries contribute such a large amount to the business surrounding the Olympic Games that the games may very well not even be able to take place without them. As sports betting through online casinos becomes more prevalent, the Olympics conversely generate a large revenue for the online casino industry. There is, of course, some controversy surrounding the gambling aspect of the Olympics as well. So, let’s take a look at the real numbers behind Olympics betting and just what kind of controversy we’re talking about.
Olympic Games and Market Statistics
While fans of the Olympic Games will flock to the host city to watch live, more and more people today are opting to take part in placing bets on the games from the comfort of their own homes. Sports betting has been made easier than ever today with countless platforms available for watching the Olympics and placing bets through online casinos and bookmakers.
People like Victor Chandler, who’s BetVictor Casino has become known as one of the top online bookmakers in the world, have made a living through the online casino industry boom today. In fact, there is so much business going into these sites that the International Olympic Committee is demanding that sports organizers and federations receive a cut from the revenues generated from online casinos and bookmakers’ sites where bets are being placed on the games. As it stands, the marketing revenues generated from the Olympic Games are split almost 50-50 between sponsorship and broadcasting. The IOC is now seeking to generate more revenue from the online gambling industry as well.
What do People Bet On?
The Olympic Games are the second most viewed event in the entire world. Among the sporting events people love to bet on throughout the year, the Olympics are one of a handful that make the top cut. People who want to place bets on the Olympics can bet on any of the games taking place, but there are some games and types of bets that are much more common than others. In general, a person can bet on a certain team or athlete, which place a participant holds at the end of any particular event, and the finalists or medal winners.
Issues with Content Selling/Fixing
As gambling is becoming more prevalent thanks to the ease of using online casinos and bookings to place bets, organizations are laying down a lot of new rules and keeping a closer watch on the bets to make sure there isn’t any unfair betting, selling or fixing happening.
In addition to the IOC demanding a cut of the revenues generated from online casinos and bookmakers’ sites where bets are being placed on the games, they are requesting that government be more greatly involved in the betting practices taking place.
Aside from the Olympics, Major League Baseball is another of the top events in the world that people like to bet on. Recently, strict monitoring of bets placed in MLB have been enforced as they teamed up with Genius Sports, a London-based company who is now in charge of monitoring as much gambling on baseball as they possibly can.
Upcoming Olympic Games Gambling Issues
While some organizations are demanding cuts and closer monitoring of bets placed on the Olympic Games, others are recommending legalizing bets placed on the Olympic Games. Most recently, the Nevada Gaming Control Board lifted a ban on Olympic betting, making it completely legal to place bets on the upcoming summer games. This move is sure to have a huge impact on revenues generated from Olympic bets this year as people flock to Las Vegas to place their bets.
There are some other issues going on in the world that are sure to impact the industry as well.
As public health experts continue to raise concerns about the recent Zika virus epidemic, more people than ever may be inclined to tune in from home, which raises the likelihood of them hopping online to place an easy bet.
Betters who were keen to place bets on their favorite Russian track athletes may be out of luck as the Court of Arbitration for Sport refuses to life the ban imposed on the athletes after allegations that the country was running a doping program run by the state. 68 Russian athletes alone with the support of the Russian Olympic Committee fought to have the suspension overturned, but to no avail.
It will be very interesting to see how things turn out at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games this year. Will the IOC get their cut? Will the government get more closely involved with online betting? Find your favorite online gambling site and stay tuned! It’s bound to be an exciting year at the Olympics.
About the author:
Julie Anderson is a writer for VegasMaster Magazine. The main focus of her work is on the online gambling industry and the cultural and social implications linked to it. One of her most recent pieces is on the successes and failures of high rollers and the casinos that support them.