NASCAR Racing Towards Sports Betting Platform, Plans September Debut

Posted on: July 17, 2019, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: July 17, 2019, 12:36h.

NASCAR announced this week that come September, fans of America’s premiere stock car racing circuit will have the ability to make in-race bets on a variety of outcomes.

NASCAR betting Las Vegas odds
The next time NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas, the racing series could have its new betting lines up and running at full speed. (Image: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty)

Scott Warfield, the managing director of gaming for NASCAR, says the betting platform will debut just in time for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship Playoffs. “The list is almost limitless. What we want to do with Genius is roll this out in a way that’s smart and efficient and isn’t overly complex out the gate,” Warfield told EGR.

NASCAR partnered with Genius Sports in May to allow the data provider to distribute a real-time feed to legal sportsbooks in the US and globally. The man overseeing expanded gambling on the racing series says odds will be available on stage winners, most laps led, lead changes, one-on-one driver props, and group matches.

There couldn’t be a more ideal setting to unveil NASCAR’s in-race betting product than the September 15 South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The South Point race kicks off the Cup Championship Playoffs.

Betting on Growing Interest

NASCAR believes the legalization of sports betting into states not named Nevada will increase fan engagement, and bring new viewers to the sport.

We’re thinking about how this product can turn our fans into evangelists of the betting products so they go out and tell their cousins and friends overseas,” Warfield told EGR.

NASCAR hasn’t traditionally been a big business for Nevada oddsmakers. The state Gaming Control Board doesn’t break down the racing’s handle into its monthly revenue report, instead grouping it into “Other” with such sports as boxing, golf, and tennis.

Driver-turned-analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. agrees with Warfield that NASCAR betting will increase viewership. The son of the late legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. believes in-race betting will “create more excitement, bring more attention, more people in attendance. I can see it having a ton of positives.”

Integrity Concerns

The expansion of sports betting – which is now operational in nine states plus Nevada – has raised concerns among some league commissioners that their games will become more susceptible to outside influences.

NASCAR and other sports such as tennis and golf where outcomes can be greatly influenced by a sole athlete are especially prone to rogue individuals who might tempt a player with guaranteed money in exchange for throwing a game – or in NASCAR’s case, a race.

While many drivers on the premiere NASCAR Cup Series make millions of dollars – Forbes reporting that Jimmie Johnson will make $17.5 million this year – those on the lesser circuits don’t. If NASCAR allows betting to take place on the Xfinity Series, Gander Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Racing Series, and others, integrity fears could escalate.

To offset such worries, NASCAR inked a deal with Sportradar to monitor “nefarious activity” through its Fraud Detection System. “It is critical to be proactive in developing safeguards that protect NASCAR’s on-track product from any potential integrity threats,” NASCAR VP of Global Media Strategy and Distribution Brian Herbst said.