As NASCAR announces a partnership with Sportradar to prepare for on-site betting, the possibility of gambling sponsorship across mainline sports continues.
In May, the Supreme Court handed down a decision allowing individual states to legalize sports betting. Gambling on professional and collegiate sports had been illegal since 1992, when a federal law was passed prohibiting most states from legalizing sports betting.
Of course, sports betting still took place illegally, with an estimated $150bn (£119bn) wagered on sports annually. But since some states have legalized it, good fortune stories are rolling in.
Analysis to monitor betting
The move by certain states to legalize sports betting certainly has a range of benefits for the sporting industry, those who used to engage in illegal gambling, and local governments, which stand to gain increased tax revenue.
For NASCAR, already something of a trailblazer in adapting to the new sports betting landscape, the path can only be onward and upward. In its latest announcement on the topic, NASCAR confirmed they have brought on board Sportradar to track and monitor betting. The provider will analyze data to determine if there are any irregular betting activities taking place, which will be particularly helpful for the on-site aspect of NASCAR’s new betting system.
Brian Herbst of NASCAR said in a statement about the partnership: “It is critical to be proactive in developing safeguards that protect NASCAR’s on-track product from any potential integrity threats. Sportradar is the leader in this space and knowing that our races will be monitored extensively, while also equipping our industry with the tools and knowledge they require, gives us peace of mind in being able to preserve the integrity of NASCAR as the US wagering market continues to open.”
The partnership includes the use of Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System, which will monitor both domestic and global betting for signs of any fraudulent activity. The system will be used for all three of the NASCAR national series. The companies will also collaborate to provide training for drivers, teams, and officials to fully brief all parties on the new betting-related policies and rules.
Avoiding the negative impact of sports betting
There are concerns that the pitfalls of legal sports betting could outweigh the benefits. However, the benefits will likely outweigh the negatives because of how carefully betting is being introduced into NASCAR and other sports in the states that have legalized sports betting. One critical point to retaining spectator engagement is the preservation of sporting integrity.
There have been several high-profile cases involving match-fixing by individual players or teams in exchange for large sums of money. The partnership between NASCAR and Sportradar is a good indicator that sports organizations in the US have taken note of where other countries’ sports teams have failed and are taking necessary measures to avoid similar cases arising in this new market.
The companies have been working together since 2015, when Sportradar started to provide NASCAR’s live timing and scoring data to digital outlets. This new collaboration will hopefully enable NASCAR to introduce legal sports betting into the sport without harming the reputation of individuals’ and teams’ integrity. Legal sports betting is spreading across the US, with Pennsylvania being the latest state to open the doors.
The move has worked well for Mississippi, where the state has reportedly made $1 million (£790,000) in revenue from sports betting since it was made legal.