Legally Betting on the 2020 Olympics
It may be hard to believe– especially with the growth of legalized sports betting throughout the United States– but even Nevada sportsbooks were not authorized to accept action on events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee until the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A lot has changed since that decision. Today, legal Olympic sports betting has become more universally available inside and outside the Las Vegas city limits. So while the Olympics are a huge cultural, physical, and patriotic achievement for those competing, spectators also have a shot at winning in their own right.
Due to the rise of legal sports gambling in the United States, bettors can safely wager on the odds and win big along with their favorite athletes. Whether it is through the use of domestic sportsbooks or online sports betting websites operating offshore, betting on the Olympics is becoming its own pastime.
For those interested in this type of sports betting action, our guide will provide insight on the ins and outs involved with Olympic betting, where you can legally bet on the Olympics, and information on the upcoming Olympiad.
Is it legal to bet on the Olympics?
Not only is betting on the Olympics legal, but it is available in multiple formats. For most sports bettors, the most accessible way to bet on the Olympics is through offshore sports betting sites. There are no federal gambling laws prohibiting the use of these online sportsbooks, but it should be noted that Washington and Connecticut do not allow online gambling of any kind.
Online sportsbooks are not the only option as domestic sportsbook gambling is becoming more mainstream. Throughout almost every legislative cycle, more and more states in the USA are introducing or passing sports betting laws.
With the Summer and Winter Olympics being in 2020 and 2022, respectively, it is likely that even more states will offer legal domestic sports betting before the torch is lit in each year’s ceremony.
Best Sportsbooks for Betting on the 2020 Olympics
Below you will find our recommendations for the industry's most trusted online sportsbooks offering Olympic games betting lines. Each one has been vetted by our team to ensure legitimacy, player safety, and transparency. For further information about the sites listed below visit our sportsbook reviews page.
How to legally bet on the Olympics online
Betting on the Olympics online is actually a pretty simple process when you are using a highly reputable online sportsbook for your betting action. Following are the steps involved:
- Select one or more reputable online sportsbooks such as the ones listed in this guide and register for an account. This simply involves entering your personal data (name, address, etc). We recommend signing up at multiple sportsbooks so that you can quickly and easily shop for the best odds and lines.
- Review the available bonus offers and promotions to see if any apply to you. Determine the process for claiming any relevant offers.
- Fund your account from among the available options listed in the site's banking suite.
- Determine the wager you'd like to place.
- Place your bet(s) by selecting your desired wagering options and betting lines and then submitting your bet slip.
- Withdraw your winnings through the sportsbook's banking suite.
Legally Betting on the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics
Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are this upcoming summer– between July 24 and August 9– most sportsbooks have yet to announce the betting lines or odds for the 2020 Summer Games. However, as the Tokyo Games draw nearer, we expect to see a significant number of Olympics betting odds available.
Below is the official promotional video for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
What sports are included in the Summer Olympics?
The 2020 Summer Olympics will feature 33 different sports. Depending on the sportsbooks of choice, betting lines will be up between now and the start of the Olympics.
Some of the most popular sports to bet on during the Summer Olympics include basketball, track events, and soccer. But with a variety of popular and unique sports during the 2020 games, betting lines will likely be available for most events.
Legally Betting on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China from February 4 through February 20. Despite the event taking place two years from now, some sportsbooks are already offering betting lines for the events.
To start placing legal futures bets on the Beijing Games, shop the odds among our recommended online sportsbooks to find the most favorable lines.
Olympics prop bets
Olympics prop bets, also known as proposition bets, are available in a variety of different sports and are basically wagers placed on possibilities that happen during events that may not directly affect the outcome or winners. An example of an Olympic prop bet might be: How many silver medals will France have in 2020?
As of right now, no prop bets are available for either the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. These types of betting options will likely surface closer to the actual games. Once any props are announced, we will update the information accordingly.
Olympics Betting Strategies & Tips
In most cases, strategies for legally betting on the Olympics are no different than betting strategies for other sports events. While there are no special strategic moves specifically for Olympics betting, we can offer a few tips:
- Have a basic understanding of the event on which you are betting: the Olympic games include events that many people are not intimately familiar with. You certainly have the best chance of interpreting the odds if you understand how the game works.
- Keep your patriotism and loyalty out of the wager: don't bet on the athletes or nations you personally connect with as a fan. Rather, place your bets on the athlete that has the best shot at winning the event.
- Apply conservative bankroll management: There is no such thing as a sure bet - ask any casual or professional sports bettor. With this in mind, only risk money you can afford to lose and when you win, apply a predetermined amount of your winnings back into your bankroll to support your betting entertainment.
Important dates for the 2020 Olympics
The 2020 Summer Olympics will play host to 33 sports and 22 Paralympic events over the course of a couple of weeks. The following are the beginning and conclusion of the Tokyo Games:
- Olympic start date: July 24, 2020
- Olympic end date: August 9, 2020
How to watch the Olympics in 2020
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be available on NBC in the United States, the network known for hosting the Olympics over the years. Using the NBC website and app, streaming is available 24/7. This will come in handy since Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern Coast of the USA.
History of the Olympics
The Olympics are one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in the world. Officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. However, the Ancient Greeks held the original Olympics from 776 BCE to 393 CE.
As of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, 206 countries compete in a variety of competitions with more events consistently added. The growth of the Olympic Games even led to the start of the Winter Olympics in 1924. Both now run every four years, alternating two years between each.
Olympics Informational Resources
To learn more about the Olympic Games, be sure to check out the Olympics website.