Nevada sports books are prepping for their first venture into Olympic betting for the first time in more than a decade. Their expectations for making big bucks, however, are pretty low.

Olympic betting is hardly new and has been offered in practically every country except the United States for a very long time.

Even the US offered Olympic betting as recently as 2001. That’s when US Senator, and casino gambling fanatic, John McCain spearheaded an effort to ban the practice in an effort to somehow protect amateur athletes.

Amateur athletes, however, are no longer as big a part of the Olympics as they once were and the Nevada Gaming Commission has given its blessings to Olympic betting this year. Of course the other reason for their change of heart is that Nevada sports books weren’t keen on losing customers to UK sports books.

In an interview with the LA Times, Jay Rood, director of the race and sports book for MGM Resorts said:

We stated the position that we’re at a bit of a disadvantage in Nevada by not being able to offer odds on some of the more mainstream events. Everybody agreed that we don’t think the state of Nevada is interested in booking 12-year-old gymnasts or ice skaters, but we do want to book the basketball, the hockey, some of the track and field — things that are appealing . . . the volleyball, the swimming.

Rood went on to point out that he expects basketball, which the US usually dominates with NBA stars, to account for around 70% of all Olympic wagering action.

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