Iowans will need to remember times, teenagers and TV options as they consider 2022 Winter Olympics bets.
The Winter Olympics take place Feb. 4-20, in Beijing but a handful of events begin ahead of the opening ceremony. Athletes will earn medals in 109 events by the time the Olympic torch moves on to Paris for the 2024 summer games.
Norway is favored to win the most gold medals, according to Kevin Hennessey at FanDuel Sportsbook. Germany, the Russia Olympic Committee, Canada and Team USA are next in line.
“We are excited for the Winter Olympics to start,” Hennessey said in an update from the sportsbook. “Just note, each state is different, so not all markets are available in every state.”
The Super Bowl also keeps the folks at FanDuel busy. They have an offer for new customers who sign up in time for Olympic bets and the Big NFL Game.
Winter Olympics times
Asia has hosted the past three Olympic Games:
- Pyeongchang, South Korea hosted the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The city was 15 hours ahead of Iowa time.
- Tokyo hosted the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2021. It was also 15 hours ahead of the Central Time Zone.
- Now Beijing begins the 2022 Winter Olympics with opening ceremonies this week. The city is 14 hours ahead of Iowa.
As we mentioned, a handful of events start ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony. Here’s an example to help follow the time zones: At 6:05 a.m. Wednesday, the US faced Australia in mixed doubles curling and won 6-5. But the contest began at 8:05 p.m. in China. Any afternoon events in Beijing will unfold during the overnight hours here in the United States.
The time zone difference will present a challenge for NBCUniversal, viewers and Iowa sports betting customers. Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) administrator Brian Ohorilko told PlayIA as much when he reviewed betting numbers from July, when the summer games took place. It was Iowa’s first chance to place wagers on Olympic events.
“I have heard from a few operators that wagering on the (Tokyo) Olympics was maybe not as high as what some people had originally thought. Of course, we don’t really have any numbers to compare to, with respect to prior Olympics.”
Winter Olympics teenagers
Hennessey at FanDuel mentioned that not all markets will be available in all states. Ohorilko from the IRGC confirmed that some Olympics events won’t be a betting option in Iowa — even if you would find them elsewhere. Prior to the Tokyo Games, he told PlayIA:
“The Olympics has been kind of a challenge — just understanding the various events and trying to educate a number of the operators. Iowa law currently prohibits wagering on any individual event where there are individuals under the age of 18 participating. And so there’s been another level of due diligence when we received the Olympic wagering requests.”
Fans may want to place a wager on Team USA’s Nicholas Goepper in men’s freeski slopestyle and big air. The athlete from Indiana is 27-years-old so it seems like a legal bet in Iowa at first glance. Fellow competitor Matvj Svancer of Austria is a 17-year-old freestyle skier, however, so medal bets in those sports won’t be an approved wager in Iowa.
Iowa lawmakers wrote in the restriction because they don’t want individual athletes under age 18 to feel gambling pressure. The age restriction doesn’t apply to team events, however.
So, even though 17-year-old Matvei Michkov is on the Russia Olympic Committee hockey team, Iowa sportsbook customers should have a full Olympic hockey schedule to bet on.
How to watch the Beijing Games
The trend toward streaming continues and once again NBCUniversal carries the rights to the Beijing Winter Olympics. The company said it will live stream “every minute of every live event” for its premium customers on Peacock.
A replay of the Australia-US mixed doubles curling is the first broadcast event of the Games for viewers on USA Network tonight.
The opening ceremonies begin NBC’s broadcasts in earnest. You can watch it live at 5 a.m. Friday, but the network will re-air the event in primetime for a more traditional experience.
The first medals are awarded Saturday in:
- cross-country skiing
- freestyle skiing
- speed skating
- short-track speed skating and
- ski jumping
NBC, USA Network and the Olympic Channel will be the go-to options for coverage through Feb. 20. The best moments from live overnight events will often be reaired as part of the primetime package on NBC.