The world of sports and gambling are intertwined. There is always an element of the unknown in games. In Muay Thai a quick elbow can create a cut. A head kick can cause a knockout. A body punch, a drop to the ground. It makes the game exciting and putting money on it makes it even more exhilarating.
Matthew Lym of Ladbrokes knows the excitement. He’s gone to the homeland of the sport.
“I went to Lumpinee and Rajadamnern,” Lym said. “And in high school, I boxed.”
Ladbrokes' relationship with the sport didn’t stop there. They became involved with the athletes.
“I’ve seen the ins and outs up close and personal,” Lym said. His friend, Chris Nguyen fought on Rebellion. He sponsored Nguyen as an athlete. Lym was able to see the ups and downs of fight life.
Supporting Nguyen went on to a desire to support Rebellion.
At first Sy Nadji, CEO of Rebellion, was conservative. Gambling, especially in Thailand influenced the judges and the fighters. The scoring of fights shifted when the big gamblers threw money down. They tried to eke out decision wins to collect bonus money from gamblers. Rather than fight for the fight, they fought for the gamblers.
And while rare, fighters taking dives to collect on bets do happen due to gambling.
Ladbrokes and Nadji talked. They put safeguards onto betting.
“We limit the amounts, which prevents corruption,” Lym said.
Capping the wagers means athletes can’t win more than their purse. To make money they must fight clean and fair. This prevents gamblers from having sway over judges. It changes how the fight is fought.
Incentives like the Dieselnoi, Anuwat, Jordan Coe award, etc. are used instead. These prizes go to boxers for their style. Coupled with cash prizes, the rewards go to fighters that display 100% Muay Thai.
Ladbrokes primarily work with horse and greyhound races. Money made on the tracks creates a bulk of the revenue for Ladbrokes. Working with Rebellion is an expansion of the market.
The odds for the fight go up right before the fight.
And the odds for the upcoming 8 Man Eliminator on August 12th are going to be wild. It’s a chance for anyone to win. The contest is a wild night of action.
But what’s sure is that doubling down on Rebellion is a great bet for Ladbrokes.