Italians bet a total of €42.1m on the London 2012 Olympics, 83% more than the €23m they wagered on the Beijing Games four years ago, according to data on the regulated market from AAMS.
Offline bets in Italy accounted for €22.4m, or 53% of the total, with the remaining €19.7m bet online.
Football was by far the most popular sport in terms of Olympic betting activity in Italy’s regulated market, attracting €13.6m in bets or 32% of the total. Second most popular was volleyball, with €9.9m or 23% of total Olympic betting, followed by basketball in third spot with €5.5m or 13% of wagers. Tennis was the fourth most popular Olympics sport among Italian punters, attracting €5.3m or 12.5% of bets, with water polo the fifth most popular – ahead of athletics – with €1.9m or 4.5% of the total. The Italians made it all the way to the final of the men’s water polo, only to lose 6-8 in the gold medal match to Croatia.
The regulator of the online gambling sector in France, ARJEL, also released its figures on the London 2012 Olympics, with French punters betting marginally less on the Olympics on regulated sites than their Italian counterparts – €19.2m – reaping total gross revenue for licensed operators in the ring-fenced dot.fr market of €3.3m.
In France, football narrowly edged out basketball – in which the French won a silver medal – as the most popular Olympic betting sport, with 20% of total bets to basketball’s 19%. Handball, in which the French won gold, came a close third with 17% of total wagers, just ahead of tennis with 15%, and volleyball in fifth with 10%.