Canada Sets Record for Betting on Boxing
While Canada has not seen a fight that rivals Mayweather vs. McGregor UFC (estimated betting of $85 million) or Mayweather vs. Pacquaio (estimated betting of $70 million) in terms of sports betting, May 2018 has seen an enormous boost in the number and amounts of wagers in the country. Three of the largest fights in Canada’s history featuring Canadian boxers — Stevenson vs. Jack; Lemieux vs. Achour; and Clayton vs. Danyo — have made May a record-setting month for sports betting on boxing in the land of the Maple Leaf.
While single-sports betting is illegal in Canada and customers must bet on a combined ticket of several sporting events at once (a parlay), single-sports gambling is legal in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that Canadian single-sports wagers offshore account for about $4 billion spent by Canadians.
Stevenson vs. Jack
Before the match, the 40-year-old Canadian (Adonis Stevenson) was favored at -175 in the odds, partially because Stevenson had remained the champion through nine consecutive title defenses. At +137.50 odds, Badou Jack was severely underrated as a betting opportunity. It has been estimated this fight alone brought in $25 million in betting from Canadians. At the end of the match, which ended in a majority draw, the judges had scored it 115-113, 114-114, and 114-114. Stevenson kept his titles – the WBC and lineal light-heavyweight titles — which was a problem since many observers felt Jack landed more punches than Stevenson. There is sure to be a rematch, which means more gambling revenue for betting sites.
Lemieux vs. Achour
David Lemieux, a hometown hero from Quebec City, was trying to recover from an embarrassing loss in his last fight against Billy Joe Saunders from England, who won a unanimous decision over the 29-year-old fighter. He was given — 1750 odds. Karim Achour, a young fighter from France, was given +1125 odds and was on a 13-fight winning streak at the time of the match. The fight was as one-sided as Lemieux’s earlier loss, with the former IBF middleweight champion defeating the youngster in a unanimous decision. It was also made a bit controversial by Lemieux’s over-limit weigh in, which made him ineligible for Achour’s WBC International and Francophone middleweight belts. It has been estimated this fight brought in $15 million in offshore betting.
Clayton vs. Danyo
The undercard in the May 26 fight was a match featuring a young boxer from Montreal, Custio Clayton. Clayton was fighting against a young Dutchman, Stephen Danyo, for the IBF and WBO welterweight titles. Clayton has shown a lot of promise in his previous fights and has demonstrated his perfection as a ferocious technical fighter through his 15 professional matches. Offshore gambling sites estimate the betting on this fight was approximately $5 million. Clayton won the match in a unanimous 12-round decision, which means that he will continue to rise higher in the boxing ranks and go after more difficult belts.
While betting on these three fights combined in Canada was not as large as the betting on either Mayweather vs. Pacquiao or Mayweather vs. McGregor, where betting easily topped $75 million for the bouts, the fact that Canadians were willing to spend close to that amount for the three matches is an improvement for the gaming industry. Canadians still overwhelmingly bet more on hockey than anything else. Estimates for single-game betting are as high as $100 million for a playoff or championship bet. Nevertheless, the record-setting bets in May serve as a glimpse of what the future might hold for betting on boxing in Canada.
An energy industry consultant who spends a lot of time on North Sea oil rigs and conducting studies in and around the Arctic Circle. Sean started playing online casino games to compensate for long periods of boredom. In no time he turned from casual player to fan to fanatic and has since made it his mission to study the online casino universe from the players perspective. As a regular participant and contributor to Top Casino Picks, Sean sits in the Top Casino Picks advisory board and oversees our review team.
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