Johnny Avello, Head of Race and Sportsbook Operations, likes to think that DraftKings is listening to their users. That’s why DraftKings is offering a wide assortment of sports and events for users to bet on during the Summer Olympics.
The 2020 Summer Olympics (delayed one year due to the pandemic) are underway in Tokyo, with more than 200 countries participating in 33 sports. Many of those sports are unusual or unfamiliar to bettors in the U.S., but DraftKings is offering odds for nearly all of them.
“We are totally about content,” Avello said in an interview with Gaming Today. “We like to offer any activity that anyone is interested in. There are a lot of different events [in Tokyo], and where jurisdiction allows it, we feel there should be availability there for fans to elect to play it or not.”
For some of the Olympic events, DraftKings has expertise, such as basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and golf. The company and their customers are familiar with athletes like NBA superstar Kevin Durant, top female golfer Nelly Korda, and U.S. soccer star Rose Lavelle.
“What we do well are matchups, and we are very familiar [with the players], and we know a lot about the basketball players, and soccer too, as well as tennis and golf. These are core sports that we know very well,” Avello says.
Men’s basketball and soccer are expected to draw huge interest at the Olympic Games, but other sports, both fringe and new, are also attracting attention.
While DraftKings will offer prop bets like whether or not Durant will score over or under 25.5 points in basketball competition, they will also lay odds on table tennis, badminton, and rowing, as well as many other sports that American sports fans may only occasionally be drawn to. But, as Avello points out, there are serious fans who know athletes from international competitions.
New Olympic Sports Draw Interest
In survey data gathered leading up to the Tokyo Games, DraftKings learned that among new sports, the most interesting to potential viewers and bettors is 3×3 basketball and the return of baseball as a medal sport. Karate is also back at the Summer Game, and is drawing interest.
DraftKings, as they often do, is offering specials on many sports in the Summer Games, including an offer on any $50 or more pregame bet on the U.S. vs France Men’s Basketball game. Winning bets will also get $1 for every point the U.S. wins by.
There’s even action for those who cannot legally bet on the Olympics in their state. The DraftKings app and website offer free-to-play pools for people who are in a state where there is no online sports wagering.
Betting on and medal count is one of the most popular activities for DraftKings users, with the United States currently at -115 for under 112.5 total medals. The same -115 is offered for over 112.5 total medals.
U.S. Fans are Excited for Return of Summer Olympic Games
Even though the 2020 Summer Olympic Games were delayed, research by DraftKings shows that people are planning to watch. According to their survey, over 73% of respondents “indicated a definite intent to watch the Olympics this year with over 59-percent of respondents more interested in watching this year given the latest COVID-19 developments.”
Americans are expected to grab a lot of medals in the pool, and fans are excited to witness the U.S. Swim Team compete against the world. According to DraftKings, 58% of respondents are most looking forward to watching that competition, followed by gymnastics and basketball.