Betting sites of the US gaming delta Las Vegas are increasingly taking bets on the outcome of rodeo events. In addition to betting on the four major sports leagues NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, another betting niche appears to be establishing itself on the freshly legalized US sports betting market. Animal rights activists are not enthusiastic about the development. Here is the most important information.
A lucrative business
Las Vegas bookmakers seem to have discovered a new market niche for themselves with Rodeo. According to a recent report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal , MGM Grand Resorts’ betting office in particular has become a permanent focal point for rodeo betting in recent years. The betting sites South Point and Circa Sports have also jumped on the bandwagon .
The fact that bookmakers are entering the sector is hardly surprising given the high level of popularity. Every rodeo event counts millions of spectators. The largest rodeo event in the United States has also been held in Las Vegas since 1985. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) alone carries out up to 700 rodeos a year. The betting sites consequently sense a lucrative business that pays off particularly well, since the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) is currently guest in Las Vegas.
At the NFR, cowboys and cowgirls compete for a whopping $ 10 million prize pool each year. The event spans several days and attracts around 170,000 fans to Las Vegas each year . In this sense it can be assumed that not only betting providers but also various casino giants will enter the market in the future. A newcomer at this point is the Golden Gate and D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens. This indicated that a real boom has risen around the rodeos. The wording stated:
“We have been a sponsor of the NFR for several years. But this time we are also active in the sports betting business for the first time. We therefore decided to set up all 15 bull riders for ten days. It is incredibly fun to watch the bull riders when you hold a betting slip. There are many outsiders with high payouts. In this first week we have seen tremendous growth. It literally came out of nowhere. ”
Critics raise the alarm
Even if more and more bookmakers and casino operators are entering the rodeo business, criticism from animal rights activists is increasing. But critical voices about the development are also voiced within the industry. Among other things, the director of the MGM betting office Jeff Stoneback expressed skepticism about the NFR event in Las Vegas. Above all, he criticized the fact that sports betting sales in the traditional lines of business fell due to the high number of NFR fans.
The international animal welfare organization PETA also came on the scene. For the animal rights activists, the events represent a form of animal cruelty that demands the death of several animals. However, it is hardly to be expected that the arguments of the organization will cause a decline in interest. Similar to horse betting, animal rights activists have been fighting against the eloquent windmills in the rodeo area for years.
Negative example horse racing
The example of horse betting shows how devastating the betting business can be on the health of the animals involved. The Santa Anita Park route made headlines last March . Since the start of the racing season in December, over 21 racehorses have been injured there so severely that they have died or been put to sleep.
Equestrian Debbie McAnally’s racehorse was the last horse to be killed this season in Santa Anita Park after the four-year-old mare crushed her foreleg in a training run.
The death of the horse initially led to the indefinite closure of the racetrack, which had already been opened in 1934, at the moment only “limited training” is taking place. A team of investigators has been trying to find out why so many animals have died within a short period of time. It was said that necropsy is carried out on the animals that crashed , but exact results are not yet available.
Is rain to blame for the disaster?
Trainers, horse owners, track officials and animal rights activists understandably reacted as shocked as they were amazed by the high number of fatalities. A spokesman for the track, Mark Willman, emphasized, however, that the injuries were particularly complex , with increased rainfall being the biggest risk factor for the accidents.
Indeed, southern California has recently had an unusually cold and wet winter – the wettest for decades: in February alone, almost 30cm of rain fell at temperatures below 21 ° Celsius . Although the route has been almost continuously covered by special coverings, many people associated with Santa Anita Park believe that rain is a major factor in the death of the animals. Animal rights activists, on the other hand, believe that the animals were literally rushed to death due to the high pressure to perform.