It remains one of the greatest sporting spectacles on Earth, and while the hosts have received their fair share of negative publicity in the run-up to the 31st Summer Olympics, it’s fair to say that the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro know how to throw a party.
Following on from the excitement and emotion of London 2012, however, they’ll need to pull out all the stops to compete with the success of the Brits. This year’s Games have already been rocked by scandal and speculation in recent weeks and months, with the Russian doping scandal threatening to overshadow the whole event and concerns over the Zika virus causing many of the world’s finest to sit out.
Nevertheless, there will still be plenty for spectators, supporters and punters to enjoy. Can Usain Bolt complete another 100m, 200m and sprint relay triple crown? Will Jessica Ennis-Hill win Heptathlon gold after recently recapturing the world title? And will Mo Farah have the opportunity to crack out his famous ‘Mobot’ celebration after clinching 5k or 10k glory?
These are just some of the stories set to unfold in August and September, and the good news for bettors is that they can have a flutter on a veritable myriad of markets backed by some eye-wateringly good bonuses.
Since the first modern Olympic Games held 120 years ago in Athens, the nature of the sports betting industry has changed dramatically. The advent of the Internet and mobile phone technology has resulted in more bookmakers (both online and on the high street) competing for business, and as is often the case in ultra-competitive industries this can only be good news for customers.
One way in which bookmakers will try to differentiate themselves from their competitors is through their bonuses and promotions. So naturally, in the lead-up to Rio 2016 there are a multitude of bonuses available that are just waiting to be taken advantage of. Being able to bet on as many of the Olympic sports as possible is key for punters who have an eye for summer profit, and one of the very best for this is undoubtedly Coral Sports.
They will be carrying all of their regular markets, so football bettors can still have a wager or two on first/anytime goalscorer, handicaps and over/under goals etc, while all of the ‘niche’ events will also be covered, from archery to water polo. And when the brand’s generous ‘bet £5, get £20 in free bets’ bonus is factored in it’s clear that Coral are ready to deliver some ‘five rings’ glory of their own.
If comprehensive market coverage is a prerequisite for success then bet365 Sports are right up there with the very best. The UK outfit have gone into as much detail as expected with their Rio 2016 betting, with both individual and team sports well catered for.
Whether bettors are favouring Andy Murray to successfully defend his Olympic gold in the wake of his Wimbledon success, or Team USA to triumph in the inaugural golf competition, they can place their bets and benefit from the 100% deposit match bonus that is up for grabs.
When it comes to offering industry best prices and a rather agreeable welcome bonus, UK's own NetBet Sports — one of sports betting’s newest names — have carved out a rather impressive niche for themselves. They were also one of the first firms to price up the popular ‘Most Gold Medals’ market, and it’s no surprise to see that they have made the USA their 1/5 red hot favourites.
The Americans have won a whopping 976 golds since the Olympics’ foundation in Athens; a cool 581 more than their nearest rivals the Soviet Union. Team GB are placed third in the all-time gold medal table, and their price of 40/1 to lead the way in Rio may just tempt fans of long-price betting value.
The final word however must go to William Hill Sports, whose F20 bonus campaign remains as popular as ever. Here punters simply have to bet £10 to get £20 in free bets — perfect timing for Rio.
The brand are offering a wealth of pre-event and in-play betting options, with gold medal markets joined by podium finishes and much more. No matter who the spoils go to in terms of medals, it’s safe to say that bettors are being well and truly spoiled this Olympic summer.