Although the Fertitta-owned Station Casinos does not take bets on UFC events, nearly every other casino in Vegas does, and not just on the main events. With TUF Live moving to a, well, live format, some casinos are offering odds on the Friday night fights.
UFC President Dana White has been tweeting the TUF Live betting lines, which alarmed Las Vegas Sun columnist J. Patrick Coolican. While there is no suggestion, nor has there ever been, that White bets on UFC events, Coolican never the less finds fault with simply acknowledging and promoting the odds.
Imagine NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tweeting that the Saints are 10-1 to win the Super Bowl next year.
Yeah, probably not.
I suppose we can appreciate White’s honesty compared with other sports’ commissioners, whose leagues benefit greatly from the enthusiasm generated by Vegas betting but keep their distance from our gambling dens.
But White’s loose talk seems inappropriate, especially as UFC tries to earn legitimacy.
By haphazardly associating his sport with Vegas sports betting, White is giving New York authorities an excuse not to welcome UFC.
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White responded with what is referred to in diplomatic circles as a "full and frank response."
"He's an idiot," White said of Coolican. "This guy lives in Las Vegas and is scrutinizing the fact that you can bet on the fights? Hey dummy, the fact that you can bet on these fights makes it legit.
"Las Vegas is where people gamble, and you live here, too. If you don't like it, then don't follow me on Twitter, a------ How about that?"
"People always ask me, 'Do you think that Roger Goodell and Bud Selig should act more like you? No. I think their model is doing just fine. These guys are incredible commissioners that have taken their sport to incredible levels. They're doing fine. My style is different than other people's style.
"If this jackass from the 'Las Vegas Sun' doesn't like the fact that I'm telling you what the line is, too f------ bad. Yeah, I'm not Roger Goodell, and I'm not Bud Selig. I'm not those guys. If you haven't figured that out by now, your head is further up your ass than I thought it was after reading your story."
"I'm proud of the fact that casinos put betting lines on this thing. I'm proud of it. And you know what? I live in a gambling city. Gambling is legal."
"One of the things I love – which I think is bad ass – MGM, Mirage, The Venetian, the Las Vegas Hotel, Palms and a lot of other casino are doing this thing where they're having 'The Ultimate Fighter' inside the sportsbooks. So you go in, and you watch the reality (show), and then you go up and make your bet before the fight starts. They're all doing it. I think it's awesome that the casinos are supporting 'The Ultimate Fighter' and doing that."
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