Special Olympics Keepsake flyers are featured during day 1 of the 52nd annual 2023 Summer Games of Special Olympics Delaware at the University of Delaware’s Nelson Athletic Complex in Newark, Friday, June 9, 2023. Approximately 547 athletes, 77 unified partners, 138 coaches and 1,000 volunteers made the bocce,powerlifting, softball, swimming, tennis, and track & field competition possible, which kicked off today with the cancellation or relocation of several events due to poor air quality caused by the Canada wildfires.

Sports gambling is expanding at a rapid rate throughout the United States with sportsbooks and casinos across the country continually adding to their betting offerings. But one sportsbook has taken it a step further than most, creating some controversy.

This week, offshore sportsbook betonline.ag announced that they would be offering gambling lines for this year’s Special Olympics. The sportsbook has obviously faced some backlash, but BetOnline Brand Manager Edward Knight insists “there is nothing gimmicky about these odds” and defended the decision to offer betting on the Special Olympics.

“We anticipate some negative reaction for our Special Olympics odds, but we’ve been doing this for nearly three decades and have proven that our offerings have an overall positive impact on the visibility of a sport,” Knight said according to Yahoo! Sports..

“We’re a gaming company that provides entertainment products, so every goal behind our marketing strategies is to generate publicity not only for us, but also for the competition. These athletes have worked their butts off to get to Berlin, and they deserve every additional layer of exposure they can get.”

Knight also made a point to reveal that after the 2023 Special Olympics concludes, BetOnline.ag will also make a $10,000 donation to a non-profit organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities.

[Yahoo! Sports]