BetMGM, NASCAR Rev Up Partnership, Eye In-Race Betting For 2021

Posted on: August 11, 2020, 03:30h. 

Last updated on: August 12, 2020, 08:44h.

In its quest to gain a bigger slice of the US sports betting pie, NASCAR is teaming up with BetMGM, making the online betting firm an authorized gaming partner of the largest stock car racing series in the country.

The Aug. 9 NASCAR race in Michigan. With help from BetMGM, race fans will have more to bet on next year. (Image: Getty Images)

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but as part of the agreement, BetMGM will promote NASCAR offerings on its online betting platforms, at its brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and on social media channels. Likewise, the stock car association will return the favor and highlight the sportsbook operator on, on its mobile app, and on social media.

BetMGM is currently licensed for sports betting in seven states and has plans to be in 11 states by the end of 2020,” according to a statement.

Of the seven states where BetMGM is currently operational, three — Indiana, Michigan, and Nevada — host NASCAR races, with the latter two each home to two tilts per year.

BetMGM is part of the ROAR Digital partnership between GVC Holdings Plc and MGM Resorts International. Last month, the two operators increased their ROAR investment to $450 million from $200 million.

Increasing Bet Variety

NASCAR hasn’t been shy about its efforts to appeal to a broader swath of bettors. Earlier this year, the league, in a bid to lure younger demographics and turn something positive out of the coronavirus shutdown, leveraged the popularity of its esports competitions into action for gamblers.

Still, auto racing has a mountain to climb in the US when it comes to challenging football, basketball, and baseball in terms of betting volume. One way NASCAR can increase its sports wagering footprint is with a larger variety of bets. For years, retail sportsbooks only offered odds on the race winner and maybe a few props here and there, or head-to-head driver matchups.

The league and BetMGM are already mulling avenues for spicing things up for gamblers.

“BetMGM will expand the portfolio of bet types offered on its mobile app throughout the NASCAR season, including pre-race and in-play bets,” according to the statement.

Bet types currently being explored include top-finishing drivers, driver matchups, stage winners and bets tied to the number of the winning car (over/under), among others,” the statement continued.

An over/under based on drivers’ numbers would almost certainly require some fine-tuning on a sportsbook operator’s part, for a couple of reasons. First, car numbers aren’t in consecutive order. Second, the range of numbers for regular NASCAR drivers this year is “00” up to “96.”

Tapping Another Trend

Obviously, BetMGM and NASCAR are looking to capitalize on the booming online and mobile gaming markets.

Within that arena, the operator and the league see opportunity in another fast-growing niche: in-game, or in this case, in-race betting.

Using data provided by Genius Sports, BetMGM will offer live betting on NASCAR during the 2021 season. Neither the gaming company nor the stock car league commented on what that could look like. But given the pauses that, in a standard NASCAR race, include the two-stage breaks and cautions for wrecks, the sport could prove conducive to live betting.