Las Vegas sports books lobby for bets on Olympics, Oscars; workshop set to discuss proposals

A race for Olympic gold could bring lots of green for gamblers at Nevada sports books if state gambling officials approve requests from casino owners to allow such wagers.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is hosting a workshop Thursday to consider the proposal. A final decision is expected in late February.

Along with the Olympics, sports books want a change in the law that could allow bets on nonsporting events such as the Academy Awards, the most valuable player in Major League Baseball, or even "American Idol."

The state bars casinos from accepting wagers on events such as the Oscars in which the outcome is known before it is officially disclosed.

Olympic betting has been frowned on in the past because the events involve amateur athletes. However, that thinking is changing as more professional athletes compete.