With the games now behind us, we may soon know if that prediction was accurate. With all of the marketing hoopla surrounding the Olympics, the Rio games were certainly at the forefront of our minds this summer. But the marketing also raised awareness about a new market going for the gold.
For the first time in 16 years, Nevada sports books accepted bets on the Games in Brazil, highlighting how sports betting is more popular than ever.
“Nevada sports books accepting bets on the 2016 Summer Olympics offers yet another proof point that sports betting has become a pastime in the United States and beyond,” said Sara Rayme, senior vice president of public affairs at the American Gaming Association. “With outdated barriers — such as opposition to a franchise in Las Vegas — falling rapidly, it’s clear that a new approach to sports betting will bring greater transparency and integrity to the games we all love to watch.”
The United States Conference of Mayors recently took a major step in support of rooting out the thriving illegal market by unanimously supporting a resolution that seeks a new approach to sports betting in the United States. The Conference of Mayors will work with AGA to lead national discussions on the potential benefits of the regulated market and help identify platforms to protect revenues of cities.
According to the latest industry data, Americans bet $4.2 billion on Super Bowl 50 and another $9.2 billion on March Madness this year. Americans have shown a tremendous interest in sports betting as a way to better connect with the teams they follow and further advance their interest in the game.
“However, with $149 billion wagered illegally on U.S. sports in 2015, the need for a legal, regulated sports betting market has never been greater,” the statement concludes.