NASCAR All In With In-Race Betting
NASCAR has launched an effort to offer race fans the opportunity to bet on in-race propositions. Such bets could include lead changes or fastest lap time. The goal is to drum up more interest in the popular sport by giving casual fans a reason to watch more of a race.
For well over a century, horse racing fans could go to Churchill Downs and wager on any of the slate of races scheduled for the day. NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has long wondered why the same does not hold true for auto racing.
Wonder no more, Kyle. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sports betting ban last year, NASCAR has moved to answer Busch’s wishes. The racing organization plans to partner with multiple casinos to bring in-race betting to fans.
The initial phase involves a limited selection of bets available in select sportsbooks. Gamblers in New York (Resorts World Catskills), Iowa (Q Casino) and Mississippi (Pearl River) could participate as part of the in-race betting plan. Such bets include stage winners and outright winners. Currently, books only offer pre-race bets on the winner, head-to-head matchups, group props and futures. Now, bettors will have the opportunity to make a bet based on what is happening in the race, said a report from CBS Sports.
“In-race betting in particular can be 70 percent to 75 percent of all bets placed,” Scott Warfield, NASCAR’s managing director of gaming, told US Bets. “Something that gets fans to watch an extra 15, 30, 45 minutes is of real value. If someone has a prop bet on who will lead the most laps, that might postpone their mowing the lawn because they want to watch as many laps as possible. Every lap can be a betting opportunity.”
Over time, NASCAR plans to expand its in-play options with a heavy focus on the 2020 season. Potential bets would include fastest laps times, number of lead changes and the number of passes throughout a race. In May, NASCAR partnered with the organization Genius Sports, a company that stores data and provides it to books in order to create betting lines. The company will serve a key role in integrating live betting into NASCAR.
Las Vegas native Busch said in an interview with CBS Sports last year the approach is a good one. “You know I don’t think there’s a negative to it. I think you look at a lot of different jurisdictions across the country have kind of gotten into more of the casino-type atmospheres. I think it’ll put more eyeballs on the sport.”