Sheldon is staging a party and inviting 600 million Chinese

Sports and gambling go together like bread and butter – or something.  It is hard to imagine any major sporting event without gambling; it is hard to imagine because it does not happen.  The sport leagues in the United States may deny the relationship, but they profit from it.  Gambling fires the enthusiasm that feeds all professional sports in the world.  In Europe rather than deny it, they attempt to regulate the relationship and punish those who would cross the line.  There is almost always one major scandal somewhere in the world – soccer, rugby, horse racing and cricket have all had their investigations into match fixing in recent years.

However, the hint of corruption does not damage the interest in sports; the whole world watches, cheers and bets on sports.  The biggest events on television are apt to sporting events, the Super bowl, World Series and Final Four – that is in the United States; worldwide the soccer World’s Cup is the biggest event in sports.  That is until March 6th at the Venetian in Macau.  Saturday, Chinese flyweight, double-gold medalist, Zou Shiming will be fighting Mexico’s Eleazar Valenzuela.   Two hundred million Chinese households are expected to tune in and watch the fight.  Just how many people live in a Chinese household?  The average – by law – is three; each family is allowed one child.  Therefore, on average, each family is three people, two parents and one child; that would make 600 million viewers – a sizable audience and probably a decent wagering pool.

It is no accident that the fight is in a casino in Macau and not in Mainland China.  Profession boxing matches are the best special events a casino can have.  Although any major sporting event creates marketing opportunities for casinos, the best are heavy weight fights featuring big name fighters.  During those events, wagering in the casino goes up exponentially all weekend.  This weekend fight lacks the heavy weights, but has the biggest name possible – the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.

One would have to believe this will be a good weekend for Sheldon Adelson.  He could use some good news after his week in court – with cameras allowed.  Besides the weekend of gamblers fueled by the adrenaline of the fight – 600 million Chinese will get a peak at Adelson’s casino – not a bad marketing plan.  Do you suppose there will be any wagering on the fight – you just between friends, a friendly wager?

 ‘Fists of Gold’ Boxing Match Fires Up China; Saturday’s fight featuring Zou Shiming—China’s first Olympic gold medalist in boxing—will be the most-watched telecast in the professional sport’s history, says Bob Arum.  When the biggest names in boxing talk about the future of the sport, they point to a soft-spoken man who weighs only a little over 100 pounds and hails from one of China’s poorest provinces…”Such is the demographics of China,” he said, predicting that more than 200 million homes in the world’s most populous country will tune in to see Mr. Zou…The fight, which is taking place in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, will be broadcast free in China. But Mr. Arum hopes to ultimately be able to charge Chinese viewers for future boxing events, a la pay-per-view, as he does in the U.S., assuming Saturday’s fight is a popular success. Kate O’Keeffe/ Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal, 4-4-13

In a closed-door conclusion to a largely closed-door proceeding, Clark County District Judge Rob Bare on Tuesday cleared the way for news media cameras to record Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson’s appearance on the witness stand. Tim O’Reiley, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4-3-13

Casino mogul and Republican Party super-donor Sheldon Adelson made a rare public appearance Thursday as lead witness against a Hong Kong businessman who is suing Adelson’s company for $328 million in a breach of contract case…In recent years, a series of former business associates have sued Sands for a portion of the soaring profits from the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. Hannah Dreier, Associated Press, 4-4-13



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