August 9, 2021 3 min read

Women Take the Spotlight in Olympics Sports Betting

The focus has shifted from men to women on this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, leading to women’s events driving up to 60% of the sports betting handle.

Women’s Sports Events Drive to 60% Of the Betting Action

Women’s sporting events in the Tokyo Olympic Games drove 60% of the betting action, according to operator PointsBet. According to the company, the women’s competitions stand out to non-Olympic months, when big leagues like the NBA, NFL and MLB drove 90% of the sports betting handle.

The only sport where men dominate in terms of betting is basketball, where the US team took the gold medal after beating France. It was the fourth consecutive gold medal for the US in men’s basketball.

On Thursday, men’s hoops made up 26% of the Olympic games wagering handle. US women’s soccer team drove the soccer handle to 85%, and 95% of those were on individual games instead of betting on the odds of a team winning the gold.

Katie Ledecky, an American swimmer star, drove a significant amount of wagering handles. Bets for her events spiked before the 400-meter freestyle upset at the hands of Australian Ariarne Titmus.

The head of trading at PointsBet, Jay Croucher, said, “That might have even triggered more people to bet on Ledecky because she was at bigger odds after she lost to Titmus early, you were getting a better price on Ledecky, which led to more activity, but it also just created more of a storyline.”

US Bettors Wager on the Olympic Games for the First Time

Croucher said that this is the first time US bettors wager online on the Olympics’ events, as the demise of PASPA in 2018 changed everything. He said that it is great to see the focus shift from men’s sports to women’s sports. The time difference between most US bettors and the Tokyo games has shifted to pre-event betting, which is still going strong in the US.

Croucher said that the Olympic activity allows a healthy recreational bets stream with smaller stakes. Rowling, swimming, and track and field are the new focus for bettors from the Olympic handle.

Betting with Instant Fulfillment

Croucher added that people have a level of familiarity with betting on things like canoeing, rowing or skateboarding and it enhances the viewer’s experience. These sports can provide “instant fulfillment” for bettors in a matter of minutes or seconds. He said that people are used to wagering on NBA and NFL. Now they can see a lot of action in the Olympics and place bets on new sports, which are phenomenal for sports wagering. Betting on the Olympic Games has proven to be an absolute success.

Swimming is a popular sport for betting. Men’s 100-meter freestyle was one of PointsBet’s biggest handle events. Caeleb Dressel was the events’ favorite, but Australia and Russia changed the odds and have led to more betting. In the end, Dressel set a new Olympic record. Track and field also lead to a significant amount of wagering for stars like Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin.

These sports are unpredictable and lack athlete information, making betting all the more thrilling and leading to a lot of action for PointsBet, resulting in better margins on the Olympics.


Eva is a PR specialist and communications expert with ten years of experience in campaign organizing and creative writing. She is also a published author of fictional stories. Eva recently developed an interest in economics and the gaming industry after discovering the inspirational story of Molly Bloom.

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