The MGM Grand Hotel’s sportsbook BetMGM is expecting record numbers for a UFC event Saturday night. It will be the first live sports event since the sports world had to shelter in place and cancel all sporting events.
As Colorado sports betting fans were getting ready to place bets on May 1, some were dismayed to see that the offerings were very slim, to say the least. The state went ahead with its sports betting launch on May 1 as originally planned.
If a fan was looking to place bets on live events, there was table tennis and darts as well as some iGaming events to bet on. According to early data from the Colorado Department of Gaming, the sports bets on iGaming events have been very steady since the May 1 launch.
A week later, sports fans, especially UFC fans, are getting ready for the much-anticipated live UFC 249 event. The UFC president, Dana White, previously had the event planned at a Tribal-owned casino in Central California. ESPN and Disney pulled their sponsorship when the event drew some backlash, and the event was quickly canceled.
White Boasted His Events Would Be The First To Come Back
White has boasted all over the place that his UFC events would be the first to come back after the coronavirus shuttered the sports world. It looks like all of White’s bragging has come to fruition.
He has 12 fighting events planned for Saturday at an empty arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The sports world, like many other industries, has suffered cataclysmic losses due to the shutdowns because of the virus.
So even White’s detractors are giving him high fives for being able to pull off the event. Some sports insiders called the Saturday UFC event a really big deal and a ray of hope.
The UFC event will be the first live sporting event to take place since the massive shutdowns started in March. White said on Friday that the NFL Draft that was broadcast on ABC and other networks gave fans some hope.
White said, “The NFL Draft was exciting for football fans for sure, but this event is a new milestone, and we have to acknowledge that.” BetMGM, the sportsbook connected to the MGM Grand Hotels and casinos, will be powering the online bets for the UFC events.
BetMGM Vice President Said UFC Will Bring In Record Numbers
Jason Scott, the Vice President of BetMGM, believes the UFC card will bring in record numbers. He also added, “This will be a great night for sports fans all over the world. It will send a clear sign that sports are on track to make a victorious return.”
Sports betting providers have been extremely creative during the stay-at-home orders. They have been offering horse racing, which has not been disrupted except for the lack of spectators in the stands.
Table tennis from Russia and Korea has been offered, as well as many iGaming events, like NASCAR. The iGaming events have grown in popularity since the shutdown, and some sports betting providers say they will keep it as an area to place bets on since it now has a lot of fans.
“The energy in the office is different now,” Scott said. “It’s great to have something that is taking place live to talk about. Things are on the way back. We are seeing leagues announce start dates and the UFC event taking place in Florida. We’re finally back on track.”