UK Bookmaker William Hill reacted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 2020 Olympic applicants announcement Friday by issuing odds and taking bets on the high-profile, two-year bid campaign.
The firm immediately made Tokyo the odds-on favorite to win the race.
Tokyo were given 2-1 odds followed by Madrid and Rome at 9-4. Istanbul follow at 6-1 and Doha and Baku both trail at 14-1.
During the 2016 race, most bookmakers crowned Chicago as the favorite but the U.S. city finished last out of the four candidates in a race won by Rio de Janeiro.
While Tokyo has sentimental backing as Japan recovers from a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit earlier in the year – other factors are stacked against the bid, especially geography.
In July, the IOC elected PyeongChang in South Korea to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and sending the two major events to Asia in two years will be unlikely. Asia will also host the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Now that there are no 2020 bids from Africa or the Americas, it is widely believed that the Games will be headed back to Europe in 2020 – or at least to the Middle-East where the Games have never been staged.
GamesBids.com publishes BidIndex, a rating system that evaluates Olympic bids based on how IOC members typically vote – and not based on general public opinion. The system correctly assigned the best “odds” to Rio for 2016 and PyeongChang for 2018. The 2020 BidIndex will be released later this year.