Station Casinos recently announced that their sports books will once again start accepting bets on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 205 event which is scheduled to take place in the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on November 12. The Ferrita brothers along with Dana White sold the UFC to WME | IMG for over $ billion and from then onwards stopped accepting bets.
The Ferritas own a controlling interest in Station Casinos parent company Red Rock Resorts and as a result Nevada gaming regulators asked Station Casinos to stop accepting bets on UFC events. Jason McCormick, sports book director at Red Rock Resort said the ban hurt the profits of Station Casinos as a number of their guests wanted to place bets on weekly UFC events but had to be turned down due to the restriction.
Nevada gaming regulators have now lifted the ban and as a result Station Casinos sports books have started accepting bets for what is being billed as the biggest and baddest card in UFC history. The UFC, which is the biggest company in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), had fought long and hard to get New York regulators to approve the MMA industry and in March 2016 regulators finally lifted the ban.
The main event of UFC 205 will feature the Notorious Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez as well as a number of other exciting fights featuring the likes of Steven Thompson, Tyron Woodley, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Miesha Tate, Chris Wideman, Yoel Romero, Frankie Edgar and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
The stacked fight card is expected to bring in wagers from all corners of the country as the UFC fan base has grown immensely over the years. UFC President Dana White has said that UFC 205 has already created history by breaking the gate record. The earlier record was set in 1999 when Lennox Lewis took on Evander Holyfield which sold out the stadium and saw an attendance of 21,284 people and a gate of $13.5 million.
In a statement, McCormic said “Obviously, when you talk about bettors in general, some guys and girls have their favorite sports they’re into. But when you talk about bets on special events like this weekend, when you have a guy like Conor McGregor, who is the face of the UFC trying to win a second belt in a different weight class for the first time, it’s something you want to be a part of. When it comes to events like this, it’s like the Super Bowl. Even if you’re not a football fan, you’re going to bet, whether it’s in an office pool or whatever.”
Station Casinos will continue to take bets on just about all UFC events going forward as the company believes that the UFC market out there will be interested to wager on all fight cards.