AGA survey suggests 20m Americans plan to bet on the Olympics

New research from the American Gaming Association (AGA) suggests that 20m Americans plan to place bets on the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 2021 Olympic Games is set to kick off tomorrow on Friday 23 July and run until Sunday 8 August.

The AGA’s survey

The research was conducted on behalf of the AGA by Morning Consult between July 9-12, 2021 among a sample of 2,200 adults. 

Interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region.

This also marks the AGA’s first-ever survey on Olympic betting expectations.

What did the survey reveal?

According to the AGA data, an estimated 20.1m Americans plan to bet on the 2021 Olympic Games.

At the base of the survey, 54% of American adults say they’re interested in the Tokyo Olympics. Of those who said they were very interested in the Olympics, 25% said they plan to place a bet on an event.

Of the events Americans plan to wager on, basketball and soccer are most popular, while traditional Olympic sports will also see heavy interest.

The AGA estimates that 45% of Americans will wager on basketball, followed by soccer with 34%. 

Traditional Olympic events followed close behind with 28% of respondents predicted to bet on gymnastics. 27% on track and field and 27% on swimming.

How do people plan to bet?

Although legal sports betting is available in more states than ever before, the majority of respondents still plan to bet casually with friends.

Of those betting on the Olympic Games, 47% plan to bet casually with friends while 43% plan to place a bet online.

Meanwhile, 16% of respondents plan to place a bet at a physical sportsbook facility, while 13% plan to bet with a bookie.

The survey also suggests that there is even more demand for legal sports betting in the US as 10% of Americans 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.

Where can Americans legally bet on the Olympics?

US residents now have more legal sports betting options than ever before. During The 2018 Olympic Games, Nevada was the only state with an active legal market.

Now there are 22 US markets with some form of legal and regulated sports wagering.

While more Americans have access to legal betting, there is no guarantee that the regulation in their state permits Olympic betting. This is because each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to betting.

States that permit betting on all Olympic events include Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Montana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Meanwhile, states that prohibit betting on the Olympic Games include Delaware and North Carolina.

As there are 41 different disciplines in this year’s Olympic Games, operators may vary in what they can take bets on. It is up to state regulators to determine what sportsbook can take bets on and in most states, operators approve sports on a case-by-case basis.

This is because events are scored subjectively by judges and several amateur athletes under the age of 18 compete in the Games.

States that are likely to assess an Olympic event before permitting sportsbooks to take bets include Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington DC.