From 19 to 21 August, Magic City Jai-Alai in Miami will host the third US National Jai-Alai Championship with the support of online sportsbook operator BetRivers. Over 60 amateur and professional players from all over the country will compete for the $25,000 prize fund.
Jai Alai Was on the Verge of Disappearing in the USA
Jai alai is a sport that got nearly forgotten in the USA but is now making an unexpected resurgence. It is one of the oldest sports in the world, created in the 1800s, and plays like a high-speed combination of racquetball and padel. Players bounce a ball around a walled-in space by catching and throwing it at speeds of up to 130 mp with the help of a hand-held wicker scoop called a Cesta.
By the start of 2022, Jai alai’s only active professional scene was at Miami’s Magic City Casino. The venue served as a hub for athletes from the US, Mexico, France, Spain, and the Philippines. Despite being a niche sport, it offers a twist to help separate it from other leagues. In the USA, everybody can own a Jai alai team, with the price to sponsor one for a season starting at $100,000.
In October 2021, gambling operator BetRivers noticed the sport’s appeal and became the league’s official sponsor. Players across seven states can now regularly bet on Jai alai matches, watch live streams and pick their favorites from colorful teams like the Wall Warriors, the Cesta Cyclones, and the Chula Chargers. The sport is making a stunningly quick resurgence thanks to the enthusiasts’ continued efforts and support from big brands. The official Jai alai league has amassed over 130,000 followers on TikTok. Not bad for a dying sport.
The Championship Will Have a Wider Reach than Ever
Rush Street Interactive-owned operator BetRivers will be the primary sponsor of the upcoming third annual US National Jai alai Championship. Scott Savin, Magic City Jai alai COO, exclaimed he was looking forward to all the thrilling matches.
This is one of my favorite events of the year, to see participants from all over the country compete in this high-stakes championship.Scott Savin, chief operating officer at Magic City Jai alai
The championship will begin on 19 August with the amateur matches. Professionals will take the stage on the 20th, while the 21st will see the event’s finals, which will determine the best players in the country.
Jai alai continues to rise in popularity thanks to high-profile partnerships like the streaming deal with ESPN3. Over 200 million US households will be able to enjoy the championship, and many of them will be able to bet on the results through the BetRivers app.