Tokyo Olympics: 20 million Americans set to bet on this year's games

By Isabella Aslam

It’s expected that 20 million Americans plan to bet on the Tokyo Olympic Games this year, according to the American Gaming Association’s primary survey on Olympic betting expectations. Unlike the laws of 2018, when legal sports betting was only available in Nevada, sports betting can now lawfully commence in Washington DC and 21 other states, giving more than 100 million Americans access to the legal market.

With 46 summer Olympic sports this year, there are ample opportunities for bets to take place. In total, 8% of American adults, ranging to 20.1 million, plan to wager on the Tokyo Olympics, with 54% admitting they are interested. Moreover, 25% of the American adults that were very interested in the Tokyo Olympics plan to wager on an event.

While traditional Olympic sports still do seem to have a high interest, considering the list of events, the most popular sports bet on with American adults seem to be basketball and football, with the most interest focused on these two sports.

Each state differs: some offer online and retail betting, and others only retail. Virginia and Tennessee offer online betting only, with retail options ruled out. Although many states now have the freedom and legality to wager on sports, Olympic wagering may still hold restrictions, based upon each individual state law. States that deny betting across the Tokyo Olympics, as it stands, are: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington DC.

The plan to place bets on this year’s games comes in a variety of different forms, via casual bets or bets with friends. The option to bet via online sports channels comes as the most desired technique.

This runs alongside a strong urge and desire for legal betting options in different US states. In total, 10% of Americans who do not have plans to bet on this summer's Olympic games explained they would be much more likely to wager if Olympic betting was indeed lawful to. 


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