Published: February 19, 2022

Sports betting is Norway's secret weapon in the Winter Olympics

Much has been written about the sports culture that has helped Norway become a Winter Olympics superpower.

Yes, but: Norway has another, less publicized secret weapon: sports betting.

  • While Americans place bets with casino operators and publicly traded companies like DraftKings,
  • Norway's system is run by a state-owned company, which reports to the Ministry of Culture.
  • Instead of lining the pockets of executives or enriching investors, revenue is redirected to sports teams (64%), cultural organizations (18%) and humanitarian institutions (18%), per WSJ.
  • Bettors can also earmark 7% of their wagers — called a "grassroots share" — to help fund sports organizations, ranging from professional teams to local youth programs.

State of play: Norway, which has a smaller population than Wisconsin, currently leads the way in Beijing with 34 medals and 15 golds.

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