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.