Yes, There Is Legal Tokyo Olympics Betting In Virginia

Posted on July 22, 2021 - Last Updated on July 26, 2021

The “2020” Tokyo games are set to be the first available for Virginia Olympics betting after all. First, there were months of delay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then there was a temporary ban on such wagers in Virginia. However, come Friday when the Olympics begin, VA sports bettors can partake.

There are plenty of markets at Virginia sportsbooks available for a myriad of sports. Some VA sports betting apps are offering special promos as well. If you can navigate the time difference, this might be the most enjoyable Summer Olympics in VA yet.

Virginia Olympics betting is legal

When legal sports betting in Virginia first rolled out, it looked like this wouldn’t be an option. Regulators initially interpreted state law to ban wagering on the Olympics because many participants are under the age of 18.

The state government reacted quickly, however. Early this year, a change in the state code made Olympics bets permissible. Currently, both the Summer and Winter games reside on the VA Lottery‘s approved events list.

However, the regulations state that wagers on “the outcome of subjective trophy awards” are impermissible. Many sports like gymnastics in the Olympics decide which competitors get medals on judges’ decisions instead of an objective score.

For that reason, you may not find futures markets on sports like that at VA sportsbooks. Other sports like basketball, soccer, and softball are in the clear. For those sports, there is a good variety of markets.

What kinds of markets are available at VA sportsbooks?

It’s important to note that the variety and volume of specific markets will differ somewhat from one operator to the next. In essence, just because VA sportsbooks can take action doesn’t mean they actually will.

With that in mind, there are some markets available pretty much across the board. Those include:

  • Outright markets on individual games/matches for sports like basketball and soccer
  • Individual gold medal winner futures for golf and tennis
  • Totals for single matches in sports like field hockey and volleyball
  • Run lines for baseball and softball

Essentially all the prop bets you would expect to find for similar sports in other fixtures, you’ll also find for these events. For example, there have been Correct Score markets for Olympic soccer and wagers on whether a team will score a run in a particular half-inning in softball already.

The best part of these games is that they provide opportunities to bet on disparate sports that aren’t normally available. Other than the aforementioned field hockey, the menu includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Cricket
  • Fencing
  • Handball
  • Martial arts
  • Surfing

As you would expect, VA sportsbooks aren’t letting an opportunity to net some handle on these events go by. There are plenty of promos to consider as you take in the full array of games.

Promos at VA sportsbooks for the Olympics

DraftKings Sportsbook takes aim at drawing in first-time depositors and new customers. DraftKings activated its Bet $1 Get $100 deal for the Olympics. Deposit at least $5, then place a wager of at least $1 on any Olympic event.

As long as your wager was placed before the event of your choice started, you’ll get four free $25 bets should the United States receive any medal in any sport. If you’re a veteran of most of the VA apps, don’t fret. There are deals for you as well.

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BetRivers Sportsbook has an ongoing promotion throughout the Olympics for all customers. The title of the offer is Free Bets for USA Medals. If you bet at least $500 on all/any Olympics events throughout the games, you’ll get $1 in free wagers for each bronze medal the United States wins.

Should your Olympics wagers total at least $1,000 but less than $2,500, the sportsbook will give you $2 in free bets for each silver plus the $1 for each bronze. Bettors who stake at least $2,500 on the games get $3 in free bets for each gold in addition to the $2 for every silver and $1 for each bronze.

Other VA books have shorter-term promos that any customer can take advantage of. Those can change not only daily but throughout the day as events happen. For example, BetMGM Sportsbook has boosted its odds on the United States’ men’s basketball team to defeat France by at least 26 points to +475.

As with any other wagers, it’s a fun experience to watch the events in person to see if your predictions pay off. In this instance, though, that requires some extra planning.

How to watch the Olympics, and when

NBC Universal has comprehensive coverage of the games spread across its networks. These include the broadcast NBC channel in your area, NBC Sports, Olympic Channel, Peacock, and USA.

The time difference from Tokyo to Virginia is something to take into account when planning your viewing. Tokyo is essentially 14 hours “ahead” of Eastern Time in the United States. For example, at 8 a.m. in Virginia, it’s 10 p.m. in Tokyo that same day.

Thus, you can expect a lot of events to begin at times that are quite early in the morning for Virginians. The USWNT’s (soccer) first match against Sweden started at 4:30 a.m. Virginia time, for instance.

The best way to plan your viewing is going straight to the source and checking with NBC to find out what events are on when and which platforms you can view the events with. The most crucial thing to remember when it comes to Virginia Olympics betting has nothing to do with promos or live broadcasts, though. The most important thing is to do it responsibly.

Photo by AP
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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