Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has published new Olympic wagering data, finding that 20 million people plan to bet on the Tokyo Games.
Since the last Olympic Games in 2018, when legal sports betting was only available in Nevada, sports betting is now legal and live in 21 states and Washington, DC, giving more than 100 million Americans access to the legal market.
While regulations on Olympic wagering will vary by state, the study confirmed that bettors plan to place wagers in a variety of ways, with casual bets with friends and online sports wagers being the most popular.
It found that 47% will bet casually with friends, 43% will place a wager online, 16% will place a bet at a physical sportsbook, and 13% will wager with a bookie.
Of the events Americans plan to wager on, basketball and soccer are most popular, while traditional Olympic sports will also see heavy interest.
The breakdown shows that 45% will bet on basketball, 34% on soccer, 28% on gymnastics, 27% on track and field, and 27% on swimming.
In a statement accompanying the study, the AGA noted: “Compared to the last Olympic Games in 2018, when sports betting was only legal in Nevada, 100 million American adults now have access to protections only provided by the legal, regulated sports betting market.
“The AGA is ensuring responsible gaming commitments grow in unison with the expansion of legal gaming by educating consumers on responsible sports wagering.”
Demonstrating Americans’ strong desire for legal betting options, 10% of those who do not plan to place a bet on this summer’s games said they would be more likely to wager if it was legal to place an Olympic bet in their state.