Time to Ban the Ban on Olympic Bets

In 2000, Arizona Senator John McCain pushed to prohibit betting on Olympic sports. Amid excitement about the Winter Games, a Vegas sports book director calls that ban “outdated.”

Thanks to senator, all bets are off

Right now, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are the biggest sports event in the world. Athletes like Kaitlyn Carrington, Shaun White and Gracie Gold are the talk of the sports world. But  gamblers in the sports betting capital of the U.S., Nevada, can’t place legal wagers on any of these athletes or events.

In 2000, Arizona Senator John McCain backed a regulation banning Olympic bets. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he did so because he had been unsuccessful pushing through his Amateur Sports Integrity Act, a betting ban on college sports.

Jay Kornegay, director of the sports book at LVH, says it’s time for a change. “We should revisit it again. It seems to be outdated, since the rest of the world is taking wagers on the Olympics,” Kornegay said.

“In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with accepting wagers on those type of events, especially ones that have a final score or a race—basically, anything outside of a judging event.”