- Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting in May 2018
- NASCAR now speeding towards the betting lines
- Drivers and teams heavily restricted to avoid cheating
- Concern for loss of interest as fans must wait 90 minutes post-race for inspection of the vehicle
- Huge reprimands will occur on any vehicles deemed “illegal”
NASCAR is looking to joining in the ranks of sports betting, a year after the federal ban was lifted. With heavy restrictions on drivers and teams gambling, which could potentially result in termination, as well as a newly appointed 90-minute post-race inspection on every car, will fans be as keen to gamble as they are for other popular sports such as football and basketball.
Protecting NASCAR’s integrity
In May 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a 25-year-old federal law that banned betting on sports and allowed fans to get in on the action outside of the previously unrestricted state of Nevada.
NASCAR – the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – has now decided to join other sports and indulge in the gambling world.
NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell had previously stated “I wanted to go all in on gambling last year,” but was mainly concerned about the “integrity” of its involvement. Nearly an entire year since the ban was lifted, NASCAR has carefully deliberated on how to proceed with its involvement in the betting ring.
This has resulted in NASCAR having produced a complete gambling policy with Sportradar Integrity Services, to protect itself, its drivers, teams and the fans in this lucrative industry.
In every effort to avoid cheating scandals, backroom dealings and confidential information leaking, both drivers and teams have been briefed that they will be heavily sanctioned if they are found to be participating in betting. Sanctions include suspension, indefinite suspension or even termination.
NASCAR has certainly tightened the reins, making it harder for its drivers to stray from their standards. While they are allowed to partake in fantasy sports and the three national touring series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series – they are again limited to receiving a take-home win above $250.
Making bettors wait
With betting usually reserved for the more popular sports such as, football, basketball and baseball, has NASCAR doomed itself by waiting nearly a year after the hype has taken off to get involved?
NASCAR is also implementing a new car inspection post-race to ensure every car is held to the correct standards of racing. This inspection can take roughly 90 minutes to perform and if the car fails, it will be stripped of its wins.
All casinos will be reminded of NASCAR’s new procedures, as they approach the “Great American Race,” so as to inform their bettors. But will bettors really wait around to validate their potential winnings?
NASCAR is not out of the race just yet, however, as there are more endeavors to come. Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Equilottery Games are planning a lottery draw, to be named Car Clash, which will be a three-number draw based on the results of every game.
Fantasy NASCAR has taken off, allowing bettors the opportunity to draft line-ups each week, through Fanduel and DraftKing. NASCAR is already at a disadvantage with only having one elite race series on the weekend, now they will be competing with the other well-established sports.
With online betting paving the way in the gambling community, John Hensley, the senior director of horse racing and sports betting at Dover Downs, claimed that the “online experience is really where the volume is going to be.” There has been a small luxury for the gambling community, however, in NASCAR allowing gambling sponsors at all of the races.
William Hill has outlined its betting lines. The favorites to win the 2019 Cup Series are Kevin “The Closer” Harvick and Kyle “Rowdy” Busch at 5-1. Joey “Sliced Bread” Logano, previous 2018 champion, is standing at 7-1. Meanwhile, it’s a different story for Harvick on Daytona 500, which he sits at 15-2, Logano at 8-1 and Brad Keselowsi at 8-1.
Whatever the odds, bookies will be pleased that there’s a green light for NASCAR after a year on tenterhooks, despite the strict rules for drivers.