Vegas sports books will be offering lines on the Olympics for the first time in a long time. In fact, since the 2000 Sydney Games, Las Vegas sports books are accepting bets on the Olympics this summer, providing casinos a financial boost in the dog days of August, keeping bettors glued to the computer as Carmelo, Kevin Durant, and company attempt to cover massive points spreads, and delivering the final blow to the idea of Olympic purity.
For years Americans could bet on the Olympics in Vegas, but that right was stripped away in 2001 thanks largely to Senator John McCain. His Amateur Sports Integrity Act would have banned betting on all amateur sports in order to protect college athletes from “the harmful effects of gambling,” – John McCain
This only held true for a short period of time because as the world knows College sports are a huge money maker for Vegas.
However, Vegas didn’t scoff at the idea about the Olympics because there was little action on those events anyway and they only happen every couple of years. Now we look at the recent stance: Tony Alamo said the change was less about making fat stacks on racewalking bets, than ensuring Las Vegas’s position in the global hierarchy of sports betting. Previously, sports books in other countries and offshore willingly accepted bets on the Olympics. When Las Vegas joined them it,
“globalizes the legitimacy of what we do.” Tony Alamo.
It should make for an interesting start on Aug 5th.