Multiple Grammy winner Drake will be gifting two UFC fighters luxury timepieces in celebration of their most recent mixed martial arts wins. Thanks to the athletes coming out of their bouts victorious, Drake also won big, cashing in a $3.7 million bet slip made on them through the Stake gambling app.
In addition to receiving a bonus check of $50,000 for having “Performance of the Night” and the negotiated purses Molly McCann and Paddy Pimblett were already receiving from Dana White on his July 23 UFC London card, the fighters will be getting new Rolex watches from the OVO businessman in the near future.
Both confirmed the generous tokens of appreciation in a post-fight interview on ESPN.
An excited — and seemingly drunk — McCann spilled the beans, saying, “Drake is buying me and Paddy a new Rolex.”
“We messaged him on Instagram, and he was like, ‘Yeah, you are getting a Rolex,” Pimblett added.
While the Champagne Papi has a reputation for spoiling his friends with gifts, the fighters are getting this special treatment because they are champions.
McCann defeated her opponent Hannah Goldy in a first-round TKO, while Pimblett earned his win against Jordan Leavitt via submission in the contest’s second round, making the Toronto native almost $4 million richer.
Drake, who has a partnership with the sports betting company, shared his bet on the ladies on Saturday, July 23, right before the actual fight. With total odds logged in at 1.62 to 1, he wagered $1.21 million on McCann and $1.34 million on Pimblett for a total stake of $2,296,211.30.
The two wins banked him $3,723,077, one of his biggest payouts since linking with Stake.
Stake is billed as the world’s largest crypto casino, founded by Ed Craven in 2017. The business relationship is substantial, adding to the artist’s digital portfolio and expanding his reach in the fintech world.
When talking about how expansive Drake’s deal is with the company, Craven said, Drake “has been an active member of our global community for a few months now, so the next step and natural evolution in the relationship was for us to collaborate” and that they “share the same love for crypto, gambling, and community.”
On March 4, Drake, an avid gambler and crypto investor, announced the partnership to his 118 million followers on Instagram, their coming together “was inevitable.”
The deal is important for the gambling industry. Often seen as taboo, and for the most part still illegal in parts of both Canada and the United States, having the betting model linked to a crypto bank is a strategy to bring in more people, even if they cannot participate straight on through their respective region. American players in the country are not allowed to place bets on Stake, based on its current gaming license.
But the industry is slowly becoming more acceptable as attitudes around regulated gambling are changing.
Since 2018, many states are moving on legislation to legalize and regulate gambling in one form or another. The idea of legalizing organized sports betting, requiring licenses to work in the space, is attractive because of the potential windfall each state may get through taxing the industry.
This year, Ontario, the province Drake was born, became the first province to open up the regulated sportsbook market.
Outside of gambling, Drake’s connection to the crypto world is experiencing rapid growth and his portfolio is capitalizing on the fast economic reward.
He is one of the investors, joining actors Ryan Reynolds and Michael J. Fox, in Wealthsimple, a Canadian fintech startup that is valued at $5 billion.
The Billboard history maker, the leading artist in number 1 singles, has recently invested in MoonPay, a crypto-payment company that describes itself as the PayPal for the crypto economy, enabling transactions between individuals and various crypto firms.
Celebrities on the company’s investment roster are Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, Steve Aoki, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maria Sharapova, Diplo, Post Malone, Drake, Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Willis, Mindy Kaling, and Paris Hilton, helping the company’s valuation rise after the Series A round of funding to $3.4 billion.
In addition to his crypto ventures, entertainment (music, publishing, film & television production) is anchoring his multi-hyphenate net worth. With his estimated net worth falling between $185 to $200 million, Drake is cemented as one of hip-hop’s 10 richest artists in the world.