Betting on Rio 2016

From August 5 to 21, all bettors’ eyes will be on the 2016 Summer Olympics hosted by Brazil. Approximately 10,500 athletes participating in 28 Olympic sports will flock to Rio de Janeiro representing 206 countries in the very first Summer Olympics located in South America. The Olympics generate a fantastic opportunity for sports bettors to wager on the best athletes and sports teams in the world through a variety of betting markets.

Exciting factors are coming into play this year: Olympic golf and rugby 7s being added to the mix, along with first-timers South Sudan and Kosovo competing for a medal. Historically, popular and profitable events that sports bettors gravitate toward are the 100-meter dash, basketball and soccer. Futures and prop bets for Rio 2016 were set by some sportsbooks in early 2015, including the ever-so popular “Which country will win the most gold medals” wager.

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Betting on the Olympics History

In 2001, betting on the Olympics was outlawed in Nevada, due to the fact that many of the Olympic athletes were amateur athletes. At the time, Senator John McCain was pushing for a ban on betting on amateur sports. This move really put Nevada in an awkward position due to the fact that you could place a wager on the Olympics from anywhere else in the world where sports betting was permitted. U.K. bettors were coming to the United States and unable to place a bet, and couldn’t figure out why.

The Nevada Gaming Control gave the green light to the Nevada-based sportsbooks in February 2015, officially permitting wagering on Olympic sporting events permitted by the International Olympic Committee. It didn’t take long for online sportsbooks to start posting futures. As the 2016 Summer Olympics draw near, many sportsbooks are jumping on board and offering plenty of betting options for punters looking for a wager in the slow summer season.

Olympic Betting Options

Most markets for the Summer Olympics involve selecting the outright Sportsbook of the sport category. Gold medal Sportsbook of the 100-meter dash or which men’s basketball team will win the gold medal would be great examples of selecting an outright medal Sportsbook.

There are also various medal specials including: which country will win the most gold medals, or which country will win the most medals overall. These bet types fall into the futures category and are sometimes difficult to predict when there are so many countries available, but can pay out big in the long run.  

There are also OVER/UNDER medal wagers available for many countries. Betting on whether the United States will win more or less than 40 gold medals is a great example of betting the totals on the Olympics.

There are plenty of opportunities to get in on the action for the 2016 Summer Olympics – head to our Sportsbook Review page and let us help select the best sportsbook for you!