The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are now underway in Japan. This is the first time that the Olympics will be a popular betting option in the United States.
This is typically a slow time for the US sports betting industry as Major League Baseball is the only professional sport currently in season. Betting on the Summer Olympics could help keep some betting numbers steady in the US, but it’s unclear just how popular this event will be for bettors.
Even though the Olympics is considered one of the biggest sporting events in the World, it isn’t expected to be as popular as betting on the Super Bowl and March Madness. Bettors in the US just don’t know enough about all of the participants, and there are limited betting opportunities for some sports.
Another reason that the Olympics won’t be as popular to bet on is due to the time difference between the events. Most of the events will be taking place when people in the United States are sleeping, and that will eliminate most in-play bets.
AGA Announces Survey Results
The American Gaming Association conducted a recent survey at the beginning of July to help predict how bettors will respond to the 2020 Summer Olympics. The AGA does not believe that sports bettors will overwhelm sportsbooks with Olympics bets, but it is still better than nothing.
According to the results from the survey, more than 20.1 million adults plan to place a bet on the Summer Olympics. Not all of these bets will be placed at an online or retail sportsbook, but that is still a significant number.
Most states that offer legal sports betting have allowed for Olympic betting, but that isn’t the case in all states. Some markets limit the number of available betting markets that can be offered.
Plenty of Betting Options
Nearly half of those surveyed said that they plan to place bets with their friends, which won’t affect the handle and revenue numbers for the US industry. Of the remaining bettors who agreed to participate in the survey, 43% said they plan to bet at an online sportsbook.
Online sportsbooks throughout the US are expected to offer bonuses and promotions to help boost the action for the next few weeks. 16% of bettors said that they plan to bet at a retail sportsbook, while more than 10% are going to use a bookie.
Basketball the Most Popular
The AGA also asked bettors which sports they planned to wager on, and basketball was the overwhelming favorite. 45% of bettors expressed the biggest betting interest in basketball, and soccer was next on the list at 34%.
Gymnastics is another sport that is popular with the Olympics bettors, and 28% of people were planning to bet on that sport. Swimming and track and field were also on the list for 27% of those surveyed for this poll.
The AGA did not announce how much money was expected to be bet on the Olympics, and that is the most important number to the industry.