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Top-10 Gambling Events29 October 2007
10.) New Year's Day
The saturation of bowl games (32 are scheduled this season) has limited the number of games played on Jan. 1, but this remains the college football bettor's apex moment. And with Las Vegas the hottest destination for New Year's Eve revelers, what better way to nurse your hangover than by heading to your hotel's sports book and betting and watching college football all day?
9.) Breeders' Cup
The first of three horse racing events to make our list, the Breeders' Cup is held at a different racetrack in North America during a weekend in October. Each race is worth at least $1 million, which helps draw the best competition in the world. With the addition of three races, this year's event, held at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, was expanded to a two-day format (Oct. 26 and 27) and culminated with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
8.) World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP)
In 2002, the top prize in the inaugural WCOOP main event was $64,450. In 2007, some 40,000 players representing more than 100 countries took part with more than $24,000,000 awarded in prizes, making the WCOOP one of the largest poker series in the world, online or offline.
7.) Dubai World Cup
Dubbed the world's richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup has been held annually at the Nad Al Sheba Race Course in Dubai since 1996. The prize money at the event has grown from $5 million in the inaugural race to $22 million this past year.
6.) Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby represents the first jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown and is easily the most notorious of the trio. The very first race at Churchill Downs was run in 1875, giving "The Run for the Roses" plenty of history and tradition. Mint Julep anyone?
5.) World Cup of Cricket
U.S. residents may scoff at this making our list, but cricket ranks as one of the most popular sports in the world, particularly in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Bahamas and with that comes a fervent following of punters. The World Cup of Cricket is televised in more than 200 countries, which adds to the betting factor. The sport even endured its very own betting scandal back in 2000 when South African captain Hansie Cronje confessed to taking money from bookmakers.
4.) World Cup Soccer
Since it's a month long tournament, the World Cup may be the most heavily bet event as far as number of dollars wagered. It's held once every four years and draws millions of passionate fans and is watched by billions of people across the globe.
3.) World Series of Poker
In 1970 the first WSOP at Binion's Horseshoe took place with seven players. By 2006, it encompassed 45 tournaments and nearly 9,000 entrants. And with well over $100 million in prize money it became one of the richest events in all of sports. The popularity of the event has also helped poker become a true TV spectator sport.
2.) March Madness
Any event that can get the prudent, middle-aged secretary at your office to pony up $10 and fill out a bracket is worthy of a lofty ranking on our list. Sports book managers in Las Vegas agree that the first four days of the NCAA college basketball tournament are the busiest of the entire year. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, an estimated $13 million was wagered on the tourney last March. That figure, of course, doesn't count the pools played across the country that are typically won by a non-basketball fan that picks the games based on the coolest team mascots.
1.) Super Bowl Sunday
It has become a national holiday in America and, like the NCAA tournament, much of the Super Bowl's popularity is fueled by gambling, except the brackets are replaced with square pools. In addition, a record $94.5 million was wagered legally on Super Bowl XL in Nevada, according the Nevada Gaming Control Board, marking the fifth straight year that number had increased, up from $71.5 million in 2002. The reason for the increase may very well be the rising popularity of proposition bets, which allow you to wager on such items as the over/under of replay challenges, the coin flip, or whether the total points scored in the game will be higher or lower than the total of points and rebounds of LeBron James on that particular day.
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