With the growth of online gambling and the explosion in the number of bookies that exists, it is possible to bet on just about anything these days but many people often question whether or not they can bet on amateur events. The bookies offer thousands of markets on hundreds of sporting events every day from all over the world, but does that include non-professional sports and events?
If we had to give a one-word answer it would be “yes” and in truth, our comment that “it is possible to bet on just about anything these days” pretty much holds true. There are a range of amateur events that most betting sites will always offer and these include such sports and events such as the various Olympic disciplines (although increasingly it could be argued that many of the participants are not truly amateur) and lower level football matches.
Can You Bet on the Olympics?
The short answer is yes, you can bet on the Olympics. Most major bookmakers will offer a comprehensive range of markets and coverage for pretty much all sports that take place.
One of the reasons why this question gets asked more than it should is because there is still a bit of controversy about whether the Olympics is deemed professional or amateur. For a long time, the games were mainly made up of amateur sports people and it wasn’t until the turn of the 21st century where most athletes were then deemed to be professional.
However, even today there are sports that are still classed as amateur with two the highest profile being that of golf and boxing. It’s worth noting that now, professionals from each sport are eligible to enter the Olympics, but there is no world ranking points or any pro status achieved for these competitors. Whilst they may be “pro” by trade, their fights or matches will be classed as amateur status.
For example, if 2016 Justin Rose won gold for England in the golf. He’s a highly established pro golfer and has been for many years, but his pro status had no reflection on the tournament with no world ranking points or very little prize money (in comparison to pro tournaments) being offered to the players.
Most of the other sports that are linked with the Olympics are deemed to be professional and they are often referred to as “legacy sports” meaning that, events that take place in the Olympics will be inserted into record books etc.
Betting on these sports work in just the same way that they would with events outside of the Olympics. Coverage is usually bigger for most of the athletics events given it’s on a world stage and so many more people are watching, compared with smaller qualifying events.
It’s also worth noting that some bookies create several offers and promotions that specifically target the Olympics. If you need a new betting account or you’re totally new to betting, this could be a great time to register a new account.
What Other Amateur Sports Can You Bet On?
A quick glance at any big bookmakers website will show they cover a good range of amateur, including some semi-professional, football, with the likes of the Welsh second tier and the English Northern and Southern Premier Leagues falling into that category. Some bookies also cover youth football, whilst many of the amateur Gaelic sports also feature quite prominently and it’s always possible to bet on amateur jockeys in horse racing.
US College sports such as NCAA Basketball, American Football and Baseball are also extremely popular to bet on. As the college athletes are primarily students, they are also all amateurs. The NCAA’s March Madness Basketball tournament is one of the biggest betting events in the US.
What Amateur Sports Can’t You Bet On?
Of course, you won’t find your local amateur football teams a bookie’s coupon, nor the local county rugby matches. That said, if there is an event that you are eager to bet on and you can’t find it at any of the biggest bookies it’s always worth contacting the bookie directly to see if they will offer you odds.
Accepting bets on smaller events, about which they know little, from a person placing the bets who is, potentially, very knowledgeable, is a risk for the bookmaker. However, some firms will gladly offer odds on just about anything, at least after undertaking a little research. The major downside with this is that to offset the risk their lack of information brings, they will more than likely offer weak odds, with a wide profit margin built in for them, whilst the maximum stake is also likely to be very small in order to limit their liability.