Vegas bout set to rival Super Bowls for betting

Fri May 1, 2015 3:49pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Gamblers have flocked in huge numbers to Sin City for Saturday's welterweight showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao which experts believe will be one of Nevada's most heavily bet-upon sporting events.

The National Football League's showpiece Super Bowl accounts for the top 20 events of all time for sports betting in the "Silver State" but industry insider Jay Kornegay predicts that the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout could break that trend.

"The biggest sporting events for betting have always been the Super Bowl, based on handle," Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, told Reuters.

"But this fight has a chance to break that trend and possibly even be in the top 10 events of all time.

"This is the biggest fight I have ever been a part of, and I've been in this industry for almost 30 years. The amount of betting attention this fight has seen prior to the fight weekend is unprecedented."

Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports book at MGM Resorts, expects the Mayweather-Pacquiao wager total to be between $60 and $80 million.

"It's really going to be concentrated on the Las Vegas Strip corridor, the further you get away from the Strip, the less financial impact the fight is going to have to the sports books around the state," Rood told Reuters.

"But there are plenty of people coming to town with some rather large bank rolls so I think it's going to be solidly north of $60 million."   Continued...

Undefeated WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines face off during a final news conference at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus