Sportsbooks' top August fueled by Floyd-Conor


Nevada sportsbooks won $33.9 million in August, an all-time high for the month that was bolstered by the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight.

Nevada Gaming Control officials estimate that $65 million was wagered on Mayweather-McGregor, making it the most heavily bet boxing match in the state’s history. The sportsbooks kept roughly $15 million of the money bet when Mayweather defeated McGregor by technical knockout in the 10th round.

Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao in May 2015 had been the most heavily bet fight, generating an estimated $50 million in betting handle in Nevada, according to gaming control. Mayweather-McGregor easily surpassed that amount and also drew record-setting betting in the United Kingdom.

At Betfair, a prominent U.K. sports betting exchange, £59 million ($79 million) was traded on Mayweather-McGregor, more than was bet on any soccer match in the company’s history. The most heavily traded soccer match on Betfair is the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, which generated £48 million in trades.

Nearly £12 million ($16.1 million) was bet on Mayweather-McGregor at Betfair in the final five hours leading up to the fight’s start, from midnight to about 5 a.m. in the U.K. That’s more than was bet overall on the Mayweather-Pacquiao at Betfair.

“It could be a while before we see money like this bet on a fight again,” Betfair spokeswoman Katie Baylis told ESPN.

Floyd Mayweather’s win over Conor McGregor helped carry Nevada to a record August. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather-McGregor attracted four $1 million bets — all on Mayweather — at Las Vegas sportsbooks, three more than were placed on Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. A record $138.4 million was bet in Nevada on the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl.

The Nevada Gaming Control does not track wagering on boxing separately and lumps the sport into an “other” category that includes golf, tennis, soccer, auto racing, hockey and mixed martial arts. So exact figures on the fight are unavailable, but August was certainly a banner month for Nevada sportsbooks overall.

The books won $8.6 million on baseball and $6.6 million on football in August. Combined with Mayweather-McGregor, it was by far the most lucrative August ever for the books. August 2013 set the previous mark at $14.2 million.

“This fight was a tremendous event from a gaming win perspective for not just sports wagering but also table games and slots,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for Nevada Gaming Control. “I felt that this fight would live up to the hype and deliver a great month for statewide gaming win, and it did not disappoint one bit.”

Nevada sportsbooks have come out ahead in 49 consecutive months, dating back to July 2013.


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