Floyd “Money” Mayweather has been the best friend of Las Vegas sportsbooks for his entire career, and his excellence paid off again Saturday night as he knocked out MMA fighter Conor McGregor in the 10th round at the T-Mobile Arena.
“Pretty damn good, and the handle was almost as good as the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight,” said MGM VP of race and sports Jay Rood shortly after posting the results. Rood would end up closing Mayweather at -550 and handled the most action in the state as the host property with 10 books on the Strip.
Lots of other books were down as low as -420 close to the first bell, such as Station Casinos’ 17 books. They were waiting for Mayweather money to find its way in, as the small McGregor wagers were adding up large. But most of the large Mayweather bets already found its way to a book by Friday.
The crazy thing about the wagering patterns was the vast difference between the Strip and local joints. MGM Resorts and Caesars Palace properties dominate the Strip and they got plenty of Mayweather money at whatever the price was. Area places like Boyd Gaming properties and Station were baiting Mayweather money all they could, but still kept getting McGregor cash even though he was priced better on the Strip.
The question around town was whether or not McGregor could really challenge Mayweather under boxing rules. The Westgate Superbook posted Mayweather at -2500 prior to the fight date being announced. They closed at -550.
William Hill’s 108 betting outlets across the state reported having 93 percent of all tickets written on McGregor, but Mayweather had 60 percent of the overall cash bet on him.
“It was very good, maybe a smidge below great,” said William Hill’s top bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich after the fight.
Despite the majority of bettors losing with McGregor, his first boxing attempt wasn’t all that bad.
“McGregor showed well, that was impressive. He just ran out of gas,” Wynn sportsbook director John Avello said. The Wynn, located on the Strip, closed at one of the higher prices in town at -625. Avello had taken several wagers on Mayweather close to $1 million, but still needed him to win in the end.
“It was a good day for us, everything went well,” Avello said.
A good day was the theme all across town.
“Mayweather was a really good decision for us,” said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal.
Just how much every book won is something they don’t like to divulge, but I’ll guesstimate the state handle was about $65 million and the win around $12 million, which would make it an outstanding score, and well needed after starting 2017 off on the wrong foot in the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.
“This was a great way to start football season for us,” said Rood, who also said Saturday’s college football openers didn’t go well except for South Florida (-20.5) winning by only 20 points at San Jose State.
In honor of how well Mayweather has done for the Las Vegas sportsbooks, as in never losing for the house, he ought to have some kind of statue or plaque commemorating his greatness and importance to the books’ bottom line throughout his career.
We immortalize horses, jockeys, quarterbacks and pitchers, but none of those have done for Las Vegas quite like Mayweather. He is the Vegas champ forever, and while I’d like him to fight again, calling it quits at 50-0 is a major statement.