NASCAR Gambling Rules Get Overhaul, All Members Banned From Betting on Sport

Posted on: January 30, 2019, 10:22h. 

Last updated on: January 30, 2019, 10:22h.

NASCAR appears to be all in when it comes to the new era of sports betting in the US, but it’s drawing a line when it comes to any of its members actually placing a bet on their own races.

nascar gambling
NASCAR drivers won’t be allowed to bet on the sport in 2019 — not even on themselves. (Image: Forbes)

The organization has unveiled a new policy which not only prohibits drivers, owners, crew members, and officials from betting on NASCAR races, but also forbids them from giving away any inside information for “their own gain, or for the gain of others.”

That applies to all NASCAR events, including the Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series.

“All NASCAR members have an obligation to protect the integrity of the sport,” reads the new policy, “Gambling on NASCAR Events by Members can pose a serious threat to the integrity of NASCAR, its stakeholders, and the industry as a whole.”

Drivers won’t even be able to bet on themselves, as former driver Brendan Gaughan famously did in 2004 without repercussions.

The announcement comes just one week after word got out that the stock car racing circuit will allow teams to take on gambling companies as sponsors

Punishments for breaking the new rules range from fines of $150,000 to $250,000, suspension, or outright termination from the series.

However, there are a couple of key exceptions.  

The Fantasy Exemption

It’s worth noting that NASCAR members are allowed to bet on other sports in jurisdictions where it’s legal to do so, just not on their own sport.

Curiously, they’re still able to bet on the outcome of the races in a roundabout way via daily fantasy sports (DFS).

Drivers and team officials can play fantasy games via sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. However, the series has taken steps to ensure that they don’t stand to gain very much from doing so — members are not allowed to take part in any fantasy contests which have a total prize pool of more than $250.

Window of Opportunity

It’s apparent that the organization is trying to walk the line between taking advantage of legalized sports betting in the US and steering clear of controversy.

While drivers won’t be found at any betting windows, fans are free to wager away, even at the track as events are taking place.

In December, NASCAR announced that the Dover International Speedway in Delaware would be the first track to open a betting kiosk on site. Officials are treating it as a test run, saying they’ll monitor betting activity at Dover and adjust their relationship with betting as things evolve. 

NASCAR’s new betting rules are effective as of the start of the 2019 season, which kicks off with the Daytona 500 on February 16.