Online sports betting is big business these days, and no sporting event is bigger on a global scale than the once every four years Olympic Games. The 2012 London Games are expected to attract 5 to 10 times more wagers than the 2008 Beijing Games.
Strong Interest from Gamblers
Britain’s two largest bookmakers, William Hill and Ladbrokes, have both said the 2012 London Olympics would not pull anywhere near the amount of betting money as the recent Euro 2012 football tournament, yet both of them have said the top Olympics Events will attract strong attention from gamblers.
Hill, Ladbrokes and other online sportsbooks are offering odds on virtually every Olympic event, and experts predict the industry will handle a record £100 million ($155) during the Games, up from just £10-15 million during the 2008 Beijing Games. Low estimates, such as those from online bookmaker Coral, are at around £50 million.
Clamping Down on Illegal Betting
Efforts to eradicate illegal betting began as early as March, when the International Olympic Committee began tracking the online gaming industry for signs of any unusual betting patterns that might show whether athletes or referees have been bribed to participate in various forms of match-fixing.
The IOC has said it is confident of completely stamping out illegal gambling from the events, and has assured punters that they should feel comfortable about placing a wager. The IOC is also working closely with British authorities to ensure that corruption does not blight the Games.
Online Sportsbooks Play Their Part
Leading online sportsbooks like William Hill, bet365 and 888sport are playing their part by offering betting on the entire Olympic Games in an atmosphere which encourages responsible betting. These sportsbooks all have a wealth of experience, and never hesitate to stop betting on a particular event if there seem to be any unusual patterns.
Online betting is big business. Hill, for example, is offering its customers access to wagers on every single event through its special Olympics scroll-down menu. Just select whether you would like to bet on a men’s or women’s sport, then click the specific discipline, and select the event on which you place your wager.