Celebrity Involvement In The Growing Sports Betting Sector

Sports betting has been around for almost 2000 years, dating back to the Olympics in Ancient Greece. As of late, sports betting is becoming more and more popular as it becomes fully legalized. From stories of average people becoming millionaires to stories of celebrities making bold bets and cashing out big, the sports betting world has received much attention in the last few years. However, it is impossible to discuss the concept of sports betting without pointing out its other side. It is also very easy to lose a lot of money and get lost in it without a systematic, data-driven approach.

For most celebrities who have worked hard for their money, things are not just random, there has to be some structure and data to rely on, and while there are instances of purely instinctive betting, a large number of big names rely on professional consultants and treat sports betting as exactly what it is; an investment.

One such professional consultant is Mazi VS, a professional sports bettor in Vegas. According to him, “Betting is like every other investment, it needs to be approached methodically. As a sports betting consultant, I have discovered that the people that lose the most are those that rely only on pure passion and instinct all the time. However, I have spent the better part of the last 6 years, studying the art of betting and building one of the highest win percentages in the game. This is why people come to me to help them build a portfolio in the industry.” Mazi is the founder of Mazi Picks, a platform that helps people of every financial caliber build a profitable pastime in the sports betting industry.

In 2022, 27 states brought in a total of $1.5 billion from sports betting. New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois alone brought in over $100 million in revenue. According to an annual survey from the American Gaming Association (AGA), a record 50.4 million adults in the U.S.— which equates to around 20% of the population—will bet $16 billion on the Super Bowl this Sunday alone.

Casey Clark, who joined the AGA in September 2017, said to Fox Sports that he was shocked by the speed in which sports betting had taken off around the nation prior to the NFL’s annual extravaganza.

“This has really happened remarkably quickly,” Clark said. “We should stop and realize how quickly this market has come to life. We had one market 4 ½ years ago, in Nevada. Now, we have 33 markets. More than half of American adults can bet from home.”

“Americans have been betting on sports for a really long time. All of this activity was happening in the shadows less than five years ago,” Clark said. “They now have the ability to bet legally. Only in the last five years have we begun to unlock the safeguards in the marketplace.”

In an interview with The Conversation, AGA’s Vice President for research, David Forman said that the individual sports bettor is generally seen as a very different demographic to traditional gamblers you may find in casinos, saying, “sports bettors are a different demographic. They’re younger, they’re more male, they’re also higher income.”

A Decade Since 50 Cent’s $500k Winning Bet

The iconic rap legend is very outspoken about his favorite pastime. He is well known for his regular wagers on football and hockey, but it was his sensational wager on the NFC championship in 2012 that got him the respect of many professional sports bettors. 50 Cent won over a million dollars after betting $500K on the Giants to win the NFC.

The rapper has had a few other notable wins, including a successful $1.6 million bet on Floyd Mayweather in one of his fights. Ten years on, from his iconic NFC bet, the industry has become a bit more complex, with sports betting analysts and professional bettors creating empirical methods of making more calculated bets.

However, experts like Mazi believe that no amount of data and analysis will remove the place instinct. “I grew up playing professional sports as a young man, mostly football, and I have since then been a lifelong fan of the game. This probably has a lot to do with why I see the game so clearly and am able to understand it as much. I started betting casually about six years ago, but I knew I was really onto something when I turned $50k to $300k in a month. I just kept winning and my analyses were spot on. I think this was when I realized that I had that special something.”

Mazi consults for many bettors who are building impressive portfolios and believes that most people who want to build a profitable side hustle with betting will benefit from the services of professional bettors to avoid making the heavy losses that come with relying only on pure passion.

While answering the question of why so many celebrities are getting involved in sports Betting, Mazi replied, “Because it is just a faster way to make some extra cash if you know what you are doing. Celebrities usually have greater bankrolls than the average person and so can afford to make huger profits on the same bets than the average person.”

New York, 50 Cent’s famed locale, launched mobile sports betting in January 2022. Quickly becoming largest sports betting ecosystem in the country, making nearly $700 million in taxes last year. Individuals in the state bet $16.7 billion through mobile apps during New York’s first year in operation, according to the New York State Gaming Commission.

Floyd Mayweather’s Wins and Losses

Floyd Mayweather is perhaps the clearest celebrity picture of the realities of sports betting. The boxing legend ended his career with an impressive undefeated record of 50-0 and has equally built an impressive sports betting resume, befitting of his nickname, “Money”. Over ten years ago, Floyd was very vocal about his $45,000 win on Colorado State with a $50,000 bet. This bet was probably the first to associate the boxer with real money wagering tightly. Since then, he has gone on to make some outstanding bets and some pretty bad ones as well.

In 2011, Mayweather bet at least $1 million against Tim Tebow, which didn’t end so well for him. Floyd has since reigned in his betting and has become a bit more methodical with his approach.

In the words of Mazi, “Betting cuts both ways, which is why as professionals, we try our best not to let our clients get lost in the flow. The winnings can become addicting and the losses can be devastating. What we do as professionals is find that sweet spot in-between, where if you lose, you don’t lose too much, and if you win, you make a healthy profit.”

Ideally, professional sports bettors do the risk analysis, find a safe investment point, and advise their clients accordingly. Ashton Kutcher is one celebrity who has openly admitted to relying on professional consultants for most of his wildly successful bets. The movie star has been engaged in sports betting and has contributed to the ruin of many bookmakers. He has been known to make reckless bets for his entertainment but also to win quite a few. As lucrative as sports betting can be, Mazi does not advise that people rely on it as a full-time occupation.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned prohibiting sports betting in 2018, 36 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized it. It is, however, still not operational in three states. Florida, Maine and Nebraska.

The sports betting industry has attracted a lot of bad press over the years due to the stories of addictive and reckless behavior in the industry, but as the industry becomes more data-driven and bookmakers begin laying down more responsible rules of engagement, the industry is taking a turn for the better and becoming increasingly accepted across the board.

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