Drake may lose $1m in NBA and Stanley Cup bets

Drake placed $500,000 on both the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Mavericks to win

Canadian rapper superstar Drake may be on the brink of losing $1m in Bitcoin after making a series of sports bets that are not expected to pay off.

On June 6, he placed two wagers worth $500,000 each through Stake.com, a popular online crypto platform. He bet that the Edmonton Oilers would win the Stanley Cup and that the Dallas Mavericks would win the NBA Finals.

He shared his betting slips on Instagram with his 146m followers. The post garnered more than 700,000 likes and significant attention online.

Neither team is currently doing well in its respective series. The Edmonton Oilers have lost three consecutive games against the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And in what may be an even bigger blow to Drake’s wallet, the Dallas Mavericks are down 3-0 against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Both series follow a best-of-seven format, which means that even if either team is successful from now on it will be hard for them to become a winner. Notably, no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff or finals series.

If both teams fail to turn their fortunes, Drake stands to lose $1.375m from his bet on the Oilers and $1.025m from his wager on the Mavericks (which had +170 odds).

This would not be Drake’s first failure in high-stakes sports gambling this year. He lost about $615,000 worth of Bitcoin when Francis Ngannou was knocked out by Anthony Joshua in April. In January, Drake also lost $700,000 worth of Bitcoin in the UFC match between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis.

The losses could have slightly less dire financial implications for Drake given his relationship with Stake.com. He is the platform’s brand ambassador and he has indicated publicly that there might be incentives tied to his livestreams and public endorsements of gambling on the platform. The partnership, which began in 2022, helped Stake.com generate $2.6bn in revenue that year and has been described as “inevitable” by Drake.

But all of that pales in comparison to what will be at stake when the Oilers play Game 4 against the Panthers on Saturday night and when the Mavericks play Game 4 against the Celtics on Friday night.  If Drake is to have any chance of winning his bets, both teams need to win their games.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.