UFC In Favor Of Legalizing Sports Betting In US
The epic battle to legalize sports betting in New Jersey has shown just how much is at stake for both the Garden State and the entire US gaming market. As we have discussed in our may reports, sports betting in the US is one of these sectors that has the appeal to attract both sports fans and gambling enthusiasts. The potential revenues legalized sports betting could generate are staggering and in New Jersey alone could reach over $11 billion annually.
The major sporting bodies like the NHL, NBA are seemingly against sports betting but NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent comments that legalized sports betting was inevitable has exposed the hypocrisy of these sporting bodies.
Another recent development has added fuel to this debate. The UFC is one of the most popular sporting brands on the planet. What makes it unique is that they are owned by the Fertittas and were amongst the first legal online operators to offer poker in Nevada with their Ultimate Poker as well as own and operate Station Casino.
UFC executive VP and COO Lawrence Epstein recently gave an interview in which he was quoted as saying,” I think it will enhance the game as opposed to doing anything to hurt it,” Epstein said. “Sports wagering done in a way, like Nevada, that is properly regulated will give more confidence to fans that games and fights aren’t fixed. To the extent that there’s nothing illegal about taking bets on UFC in the state of New Jersey, we’d be absolutely fine with it.”
These comments echoe those of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver which to an outsider seems to be the logical way forward. The UFC has always incorporated an element of gambling to their fans which other sports have not which include gambling odds on pre-fight shows during their events. To state the obvious the UFC brand is so heavily vested in the gambling world and would have a lot to gain should sports betting be permitted in the Garden State and beyond.