The past four Super Bowls are the only sporting events ever to generate a betting handle of at least $100 million at Nevada sports books.
Most Las Vegas sports books, including the Westgate, took at least twice as much action on Saturday’s boxing match at T-Mobile Arena as they did for Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao, which generated an estimated state-record $50 million in wagers.
“You’ve got to think there was over $100 million to $120 million wagered on this fight,” Kornegay said. “The Super Bowl handle was ($138.5) million, but this has got to be the biggest event outside of the Super Bowl.”
The Super Bowl is the only individual event that has its betting handle tracked by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which otherwise only releases monthly gaming revenue reports. But GCB research analyst Michael Lawton said Monday he was working on a report on the fight handle.
The fight produced six wagers of at least $1 million — all on Mayweather, who closed as a minus-550 favorite — compared to one on Super Bowl LI.
With more than 90 percent of the wagers on McGregor — the ticket count at MGM Resorts was more than 17,000 on McGregor and about 1,500 on Mayweather — sports books were able to offset the big bets on Mayweather en route to record wins for a boxing match.
CG Technology and Caesars Palace sports books each won more than $1 million on the fight, MGM Resorts won “in the neighborhood” of $1 million and William Hill also likely won more than $1 million in what it referred to before the fight as the biggest sports decision in its U.S. history.
“We’ve never won more on a fight,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “Anytime you have the handle of a lifetime and the guy you’re rooting for wins, you know it’s a good day.
“I’m shocked at the enormity of the handle. I’m guessing it was around $90 million for the state, which is old Super Bowl numbers.”
CG Technology sports book vice-president Matthew Holt said his shops took $8.5 million in wagers on the fight, including more than $1 million in props alone.
“It’s possible this thing might’ve hit $100 million. With a guy who’d never had a boxing match. It’s absolutely amazing,” he said. “I wouldn’t be totally surprised if the handle was in the $90 million to $110 million range.”
Mayweather denied wager
According to multiple sources, Mayweather showed up at the M Resort sports book at about 3 p.m. Saturday and tried to place a $400,000 wager on under 9.5 rounds (minus-200). But the bet was denied because of regulatory concerns about a fighter betting on anything besides a win.
“He was not very happy with that,” a source said.
Said Mayweather on ESPN after the fight: “I’m not going to set up a fight for $400,000 when I’m making $300 million.”
Mayweather reportedly then tried to bet $400,000 on himself to win by knockout (minus-190) but grew tired of waiting to place the wager and left without getting down.
Holt and CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal each declined comment, saying they couldn’t discuss individual customers.
Mayweather later said on ESPN that he gave a friend the $400,000 to bet on the under but that the friend was only allowed to wager $87,000 at an undisclosed book.
The fight went under 9.5 rounds, barely, when Mayweather won by a technical knockout at 1:05 of the 10th.
While Mayweather (50-0) announced his retirement for the second time following Saturday’s fight, Art Manteris, vice-president of Station Casinos sports books, already has posted odds on a rematch.
Mayweather is a 6-1 favorite and McGregor a 4-1 underdog in the fight that must take place by Dec. 31, 2018.
“Never say never,” Manteris said. “The first fight was exciting, much more competitive than I expected. As a fight fan, I’d like to see it again.”
Sunset Station will host a pro football seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Club Madrid. The event, which is free to the public, will feature Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito, former NFL coach Jim Fassel and handicappers Brian Blessing, Bernie Fratto, Bruce Marshall and Andy Iskoe.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.