NASCAR Puts Live Betting in Gear For Playoffs Starting With South Point 400 in Las Vegas

Posted on: September 15, 2019, 02:30h. 

Last updated on: September 15, 2019, 09:51h.

NASCAR’s 10-race playoff kicks off today, and in what may be a coincidence, the top motorsports league in the US is rolling out live betting options for a race in Las Vegas, the American gambling mecca.

NASCAR live betting debuts today in, wait for it, Las Vegas. (Image: Motorsports Tribune)

Today’s South Point 400, the second race of the NASCAR season in Sin City, starts NASCAR’s 10-week “chase to the championship.” The stock car association is teaming with several casinos outside of Nevada to make the in-race betting options available to bettors in other regions.

Bettors at Resorts World Catskills in upstate New York, the Q Casino in Iowa, and Mississippi’s Pearl River will be able to join their Silver State counterparts in making live bets on the South Point 400. NASCAR has been embracing sports betting as an avenue to increase fan engagement and potentially boost television ratings.

In an interview with in July, NASCAR Managing Director of Gaming Scott Warfield noted the time is appropriate for increased live wagering choices.

If you look at the stats, at the amount of passing, green flag passes, number of winners and teams in victory lane – it makes for super in-race betting options,” said Warfield, referencing this year’s on-track action.

The NASCAR executive is onto something because studies confirm that bettors with “skin in the game” are more likely to watch a competition on TV than fans who are not financially involved.

Breaking The Mold

Traditionally, land-based sportsbooks have confined NASCAR bets to plays such as the race winner, leader of the most laps, and driver match-ups, along with futures wagers, such as predicting the champion prior to the start of the season.

Some of those bets are restrictive relative to comparable bets in, say, basketball or football, because if a driver wrecks early in a race, his day is likely done and a bettor’s chance of winning evaporates.

Live betting could also be an avenue for gaming operators to generate more revenue from NASCAR, which is lightly bet on compared to other competitions. In 2018, motorsports bets, regardless of league, were well behind football, basketball, baseball and parlays in terms of casino win percentage and total drop in Nevada, according to UNLV data.

In the UNLV research, NASCAR is placed in the “other” category with the likes of golf, hockey, tennis and other less-bet sports.

In-race betting could offer gamblers odds on stage winners, number of green flag passes, lead changes, and grouped driver match-ups.

Revving Forward

During recent press interviews, Warfield did not comment on how in-race betting will play out after the NASCAR playoffs turn from Las Vegas to other venues. Of the nine remaining races after today’s, just one, the Oct. 6 affair in Dover, Del., takes place in a state where sports betting is currently permitted.

The association is expected to ramp up its live betting plans for the 2020 season, which starts on Feb. 16 with the Daytona 500, the sport’s most prestigious race.