NBC Sports Launches Pick ‘Em NASCAR Game with Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 Featuring $10,000 Jackpot

Posted on: July 4, 2019, 07:54h. 

Last updated on: July 4, 2019, 07:54h.

A free game from NBC Sports, which allows auto racing fans to win at least $10,000, begins Saturday and is linked with the NASCAR series starting with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 held in Daytona.

NBC Sports starts a game this week associated with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Above is the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in 2017. (Image: Getty Images)

The game is offered through the NBC Sports Predictor app and website. It allows participants to select the driver who will have the best finish out of a group of four.

Also, those taking part identify which drivers will finish in first, second and third places. Participants who get a perfect score will win the jackpot or the jackpot is split if multiple users win.

When no perfect scores are won, the $10,000 jackpot rolls over to the next NASCAR race in the series, making that jackpot $20,000. Also, $1,000 in guaranteed prizes are distributed among participants with top scores.

NASCAR Pick ‘Em is the third such game sponsored by NBC Sports. Others are for golf and the Premier League in soccer — and each were developed by Boom Fantasy.

The NBC initiative with NASCAR builds fan engagement, according to authorities on gambling behavior.

“Clearly, NASCAR is trying to build additional interest in its sports just as the other professional sports [are],” the Rev. Richard McGowan, a professor of finance at Boston College, told Casino.org. “It seems that bettors will increase the rating of the various sports.”

The jackpot idea is novel especially turning over the jackpot,” McGowan added. He notes NASCAR involves one of the biggest sports in the US and has many avid followers.

Game Mimics Gambling

James P. Whelan, co-director of the University of Memphis’ Institute for Gambling Education and Research, explained the difference “between games and gambling is that it is gambling when you risk something of value, such as money, on an outcome that is at least partially determined by chance.”

The NASCAR Pick ‘Em in some ways mimics gambling but in reality, the person is not risking anything of value,” Whelan told Casino.org. “Entry has no fee paid by the participant.”

The part of this that mimics sports wagering is that putting a bet on a game or event that you don’t care about makes you care,” Whelan added. “I might care less about NASCAR but if I pick a driver and could win a bunch of money, then I start caring — and therefore following — the races.”

Whelan said it may seem logical there is a connection between games and betting. “But too often logic fails the test of science,” he added.

In a statement, Dan Pozner, director of content at NBC Sports, said the “Predictor games are all about increasing engagement and enjoyment. We hope that with additional rooting interests throughout the race, fans will feel even more invested and involved, bringing their viewing experience to a whole new level.”

Several states unfurled sports betting last year after the US Supreme Court in May rejected a ban that had been put into place by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) in 1992. A report published last August by Nielsen Sports found that regulated sports betting will increase audience viewership, entice younger demographics in pro and college events, and hurt illegal gambling networks.

In May, NASCAR announced Genius Sports will use NASCAR’s data feed for a gambling offering sold to legal sportsbooks globally. In January, the SportsBusiness Journal reported NASCAR began accepting sponsorships from companies engaged in gambling and sports betting.

Last year, NASCAR reached a deal with sports data firm Sportradar to monitor wagering activity for suspicious patterns.