At the start of the fifth round UFC 281’s main event, the rapper with the Instagram handle @champagnepapi might have been ready to go get a ridiculously overpriced bottle. His $2 million bet on Israel Adesanya looked certain to be a winner.
Then with just over three minutes left in the fight, Alex Pereia cornered Adesanya, landed three flush punches, and a few seconds later the fight was over. A new UFC middleweight champion, who was losing the fight three rounds to one on every scorecard, and Drake lost big.
Drake has not been shy about placing bets, whether it’s at casinos or with other entertainers. He lost $60,000 to French Montana in 2016 when the Cleveland Cavaliers upset the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, and won six figures off of Gucci Mane when taking his hometown Toronta Raptors to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks.
He’ll still take a bet with his celebrity friends, but much of his wagering these days is done on an online crypto currency gambling platform. Stake announced a partnership with Drake in March, and that he had been using the platform for some time.
Through Stake, Drake has been dropping large amounts of money on European soccer matches, F1 races, and took in over $1 million in crypto winnings with bets that he placed on the Super Bowl in February. In May, he posted that he won $2.6 million on a three-leg parlay on some NBA and NHL Game 7s.
Stake, however, has been under some scrutiny. The Observer used a VPN to create and account place crypto wagers. It is illegal to place crypto wagers in Europe, and the Observer made the account after Stake claimed that it would be extremely difficult to use a VPN to bypass regulations. The platform pours a great deal of money into advertising in the UK, knowing that its citizens cannot place a wager on their site just by simply logging on.
Also, even though Drake placed a massive wager, cryptocurrency is in quite a questionable place following the events of last week. The world’s second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, has filed for bankruptcy. After one season holding the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena, the franchise has ended its business relationship with FTX. The $135 million deal that was signed was supposed to be for 19 years.
Drake may have actually lost in a major way twice on Saturday. Once when the referee stopped Adesanya’s championship fight, and again with the crypto market took a massive hit, leaving a lot of questions surrounding the industry.