Boxing and Gambling Industry: What Do They Have in Common?

Image source: Pixabay

Even though boxing is one of the oldest sports on the planet, its popularity seems to be ever-rising. Boxing stars such as Muhammad Alli, Floyd Mayweather, and Mike Tyson are still some of the most paid athletes of all time. Both men and women boxing divisions have earned the likes of millions of fans all across the globe. 

On the other hand, some claim that gambling dates back to the Paleolithic period, and some say it could be traced to 3000 BC, Mesopotamia. Nowadays, gambling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for adults, as roughly 1.6 billion people engage in gambling every year! 

But what do box and gambling have in common? Let’s find out more about that.

Boxing and Casinos Connection

These two go hand in hand and have many things in common. The capital of gamblig in the US, Las Vegas, also happens to be the capital of combat sports such as boxing. The Las Vegas culture is all about entertainment, so whenever there is a huge boxing event coming up, it will probably be scheduled there – in the Gambling Capital of the World. However, this wasn’t always the case, as New York was one of the leading boxing hotspots earlier. 

When the ambling culture in Las Vegas started booming, the casino owners realised the potential of combining gambling with another type of entertainment. This is how boxing found its way into gambling venues. The casino operators started hosting boxing matches in their venues to scoop the boxing-loving portion of the audience. 

As a matter of fact, most boxing enthusiasts coming to these matches have a thing for gambling at Microgaming casinos ranked by Casinosterson. The similarities in the demographics were pretty straightforward. Moreover, Nevada and particularly Las Vegas were among the first places in the US where betting was considered legal before the PASPA changes in 2018.

This meant that the casinos in Las Vegas could include sports betting as a part of their offer. The spectators could claim bonuses and place live bets on boxing matches and enjoy the show simultaneously. And both the boxing and the gambling industry benefited from all of it. When you think about it, the giants in the casino industry such as the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace hosted some of the most epic fights in history. 

Image source: Pixabay

Top 3 Boxers Of All Time Who Have Fought in Casinos

Some of the biggest names in boxing, such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Larry Holmes, fought in Vegas. Since it wouldn’t be fair or even possible to name just one single best boxer in the world who had a match in a casino, here’s a list of a few of them. 

Evander Holyfield fought until 2011 and was the champion of cruiserweight in the late ‘80s. He was also a champion at heavyweight during the ‘90s, and the audience refers to him as “the Real Deal”. This four-time world heavyweight champion had a chance to fight in a casino a couple of times during his career. The most epic ones were Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut against John Ruiz and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey against Alex Stewart. 

Mike Tyson, or as some call him Iron Mike, is probably one of the most famous sportspeople in the world of boxing. As a top heavyweight boxer, Tyson has had some epic fights in his career. He finished his career with 58 fights and six losses and is one of the most-loved boxers of all time. Mike Tyson has held an entertainment boxing fight at a casino in Sin City. Apart from that, he fought in Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey several times, and in Atlantis Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Larry Holmes, an American former professional boxer, was known as the Easton Assassin. His career lasted nearly 30 years, and he is one of the few fighters who have beaten Muhammad Ali. Homes had the Ring magazine title, IBF heavyweight title, as well as the lineal heavyweight title. Larry Holmes participated in boxing matches held in casinos a few times: eight times at the Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and also at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Shakopee, Minnesota, and Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut.


Apart from the apparent betting on boxing matches, gambling and boxing have many things in common: audience demographics, entertainment, Las Vegas, and more. Anyone who has ever had a chance to enjoy a live boxing match will know the thrill behind it, especially when combined with the flashing light of a casino – right?

Author’s Bio 

James Collins is a content writer with over a decade of experience writing about niche-specific casino content. As a former professional content editor, he puts all the effort into making his content educational, entertaining and easy to read. James loves watching sports in his free time and enjoys analysing sports betting odds. 


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years