NASCAR to Establish Sports Betting Rules in 2019, As Dover International Speedway Introduces On-Track Betting

Posted on: October 8, 2018, 10:30h. 

Last updated on: October 8, 2018, 10:40h.

NASCAR will draw up a new set of rules on sports betting to bring itself up to speed with a post-PASPA America.

For the first time on Sunday, you could bet on Chase Elliot winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. But the fact that drivers can also bet on themselves opens up a huge integrity box of worms. (Image: Fox Sports)

Speaking to the Associated Press at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, NASCAR president Steve Phelps said new guidelines will be implemented next year.

“For right now, there’ll be betting here,” said Phelps. “They have a kiosk here, you can bet inside. We’ll study and see how that goes, but I think we’ll have some rules in place for sponsorship, for what betting looks like, and continue to see what happens in the landscape overall.”

His words came as the Speedway opened its William Hill sports book station by the track’s signature Monster Monument in time for the weekend’s schedule of racing, offering on-track NASCAR betting for the first time.

Drivers Can Still Bet on Themselves

Those who had their money on Chase Elliot for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup will no doubt be rejoicing, but the sport itself is beginning to realize it’s unprepared for regulated sports betting.

For example, unlike most other major sports worldwide it is not currently against the rules for drivers and their team members to bet on races: a situation that raises serious integrity questions.

NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan caused a stir in 2004 when he bet on himself (unsuccessfully) to win the Daytona 500 at a Las Vegas sports book, but he was not reprimanded.

There’s been no guidelines related to auto racing,” Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn told the AP. “Right now, there are no rules that I’m aware of about what competitors can and can’t do. I think it would be smart for the competitors not to engage in it. But I’ve not had any dialogue with NASCAR along those lines.”

Opportunities For NASCAR

NASCAR will likely benefit from legalized sports betting through sponsorship deals and increased fan engagement, although the race series itself is not a huge draw for gamblers when compared to other sports.

Prior to this weekend, Delaware’s new sports books had handled just $60,000 from NASCAR, representing 0.2 percent of a total $39.77 million in wagers, according to figures provided by the Delaware Lottery.

Nevertheless, Phelps sees big opportunities for commercial deals with sports betting operators.

“From a sponsorship standpoint, I think sponsorship will definitely … gravitate to NASCAR as most sponsors do because of the return on the investment they can get because of the visibility that it has,” he said.