Online Gambling on UFC Events Increasing

Published Tuesday, July 14, 2009 -

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is starting to gain interest especially among young people that enjoy watching other fit young people dukeing it out. Gambling on the sporting event has yet to really hit the punting mainstream though. Few oddsmakers have a handle on how the fighters are lined up, and for the most part only hardcore fight fans who watch the tournaments are at the betting windows. For those interested the biggest names on the UFC 100 card this Saturday at Mandalay Bay are Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and Canadian Georges St. Pierre. Most of us have never heard of these gladiators but we may know who's on first base for the Yankees.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board catagorizes Mixed Martial Arts in the "Other Sports" category with golf, hockey, and tennis.

Jay Kornegay the Las Vegas Hilton sports book director said, "There's just not enough events to properly give UFC a fair rating as far as the take at the wickets goes. It's definitely the fastest-growing betting sport that we have now, overtaking NASCAR. Each and every UFC event seems to get more and more action."

Kornegay also said the total bet on this weekend's UFC card "would equal a good NFL game. It would surpass a Falcons-Browns game and equal a Giants-Bears game. It's tough to say sometimes since you might get some large wagers on any given fight or very few large wagers."

Sean Van Patten one of only eight oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants watches and advises on the UFC events. He often consults "outside sources" and studies the numbers posted by offshore books. "I know enough about some of the bigger fighters. I don't follow it as much as some of these mixed martial arts junkies do," Van Patten said. "In order to get a good feel for it, you have to watch all the fights. That makes it difficult. When we first started doing it, we were only putting up the main event. Now, every two or three weeks, we're putting up five or six of the fights because the books are asking for more."

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