State Gaming Regulators Agree to Olympic Sports Betting in Nevada

The offering of Olympic betting products is once again legal in Nevada, as the state’s gaming regulators agreed last Thursday to exclude the Olympic athletic events from the amateur category. The State of Nevada had banned gambling on amateur sports matches in 2001 and at that time, the state regulators included Olympic sports events under the amateur grouping.

The landmark approval came around as response to the petition filed by South Point Hotel and Casino to the Nevada Gaming Commission in October 31, 2014, requesting for the adoption of an amendment of Nevada’s gaming regulation, aimed at allowing wagering on Olympic sporting events.

Under the amended gaming regulation, sports book operators can decide on what to put forward as Olympic betting offers, but the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has the final say if such offers are appropriate or not; as well as decide at his or her discretion, to limit the bets. Incumbent NGCB Chairman A.G. Burnett said that discussions over such matters would take place before the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Accordingly, the Nevada regulators have the support of the International Olympics Committee, as the two gaming bodies had previously worked together prior to the holding of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. They shared information pertaining to betting activities as means of protection against illegal betting transactions.

As soon as the news about the approval became official, Nevada-based operators of over a hundred sports books have released their odds and their respective mobile betting apps. William Hill (WH) Nevada is at the moment focused on markets related to Olympic track and field events, soccer matches, basketball games, golf competitions, and tennis matches. WH is now accepting wagers practically a year ahead of the next Summer Olympics, on sports betting offers such as Usain Bolt’s chances of winning another gold medal in the 100-meter dash.

William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher commented that two, out of every three American Olympic fans viewed the 2012 London Olympics. He perceives that the Summer Olympics in Rio come August 2016, would make a significant impact, as demonstrated during the World Cup Event last June 2014. Through a published statement, CEO Asher expressed his and his company’s excitement and that their Olympic menu will continually get bigger in the succeeding 18 months leading to the actual commencement of the Olympic Games in 2016.

The Vice Pres. and Deputy General Counsel to CG Technology, Quinton Singleton, enthused that the Nevada regulators’ approval of Olympic betting is good for the gambling industry. He explained that it would help boost the business during summer, as that time of the year could sometimes be a slow period for sportsbook operators. He remembers those instances when visitors from UK wondered why they could not place bets on the Olympics, considering that back home it is legal for them to do so.

The Vice Pres. of Westgate SuperBook Jay Kornegay opined that some Olympic events would not make a significant showing on the measuring scale, but there are other Olympic events that would be quite popular, particularly those that feature famous Americans in the competition.

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