UFC to expand gambling options with live betting product

Torrey HartYahoo Sports Contributor
UFC has developed a new product to allow for real-time in-fight betting. (Getty Images)
UFC has developed a new product to allow for real-time in-fight betting. (Getty Images)

UFC is delving further into the world of sports gambling with its first live betting product, Bloomberg’s Eben Novy-Williams reported Thursday.

The product is called UFC Event Centre and it will “take official data from UFC, plus logos, photos and fighter bios, and create a full suite of gambling options” for use by betting operators, according to Novy-Williams. Per fight, it will reportedly offer more than 50 chances to place bets, which will include “20 new types of wagers updated in real time.”

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While in-game betting is already popular in many traditional sports, MMA’s format is obviously less conducive to the practice. IMG Arena, one of UFC’s partners in launching the new product, said that only 8 percent of bets placed on UFC are done after a fight begins, whereas in tennis, for example, that number for matches is 70 percent.

Fans will be able to bet on options like “number of take-down attempts, whether a fighter will get knocked down, total strikes landed, and the amount of time a fighter spends on the mat,” according to the report. Sportsbooks that want to use UFC’s new product will pay to license the software and gain access to the data.

According to UFC, approximately a third of its fans already regularly visit gambling websites. UFC COO Lawrence Epstein told Bloomberg that the sport is optimal for gambling because “there’s no offseason,” giving this new endeavor the potential to be a year-round money-maker.

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