Verstappen takes first
The chequered flag has finally flown on the first Las Vegas Grand Prix in more than 40 years. The Formula 1 race ended on Saturday night in what has become a near-constant routine this season – victory for Dutchman Max Verstappen. The win came despite Red Bull’s Verstappen having already secured the World Championship in Qatar last month, epitomizing his dominance over the past three years.
several incidents and Safety Car periods
As for the race, the action-packed affair silenced any critics of the 6.3-km track. It was punctuated by several incidents and Safety Car periods, culminating in Verstappen fighting back from behind to take the win from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
As the dust settles on what has been a highly anticipated event, the question remains as to whether it has been a success. The racing was fierce and US sportsbooks have seen record betting figures, but a lawsuit is now looming over the head of F1 organizers over a tumultuous start to the event on Thursday night.
Spoiling the party
While the majority of fans seem to have left the Las Vegas Grand Prix satisfied, others are not quite as pleased with their experience. In fact, a group of fans were so disappointed with the F1 organizers that they filed a class-action lawsuit against them.
Las Vegas-based Dimopoulos Law Firm and co-counsel JK Legal & Consulting filed the suit on behalf of fans who attended the practice session on Thursday night. Despite forking out for tickets to watch the action, those spectators got to watch only 9 minutes of the session before a drain cover collision put a halt to proceedings.
Fans were supposedly told to wait around for the session to restart at 2am
Vegas media agency Las Vegas Locally shared what happened next in a video on X. Fans were supposedly told to wait around for the session to restart at 2am – a restart that never occurred with the second practice session going ahead once everyone had left at 2.30am:
Race officials offered a $200 discount at the official gift shop to those impacted by the issue. However, the fans behind the lawsuit are not settling for this. They are seeking at least $30,000 in damages from F1 owner Liberty Media.
Record betting figures
Now, let’s get to the positives. Outside of the nail-biting racing on-track, the Las Vegas F1 was also a success in terms of betting figures.
more casual and cross-over gamblers
Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Trading Adam Pullen told The Daily Mail that Las Vegas F1 betting has smashed records “by leaps and bounds.” He explained: “It’s already eclipsed the highest race of the season, so yeah, it’s set records.” Pullen attributes this to the race attracting more casual and cross-over gamblers.
BetMGM saw the same record-setting interest in the race. Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer for the operator, said it would shatter “every company record for the sport” due to “remarkable” activity around the event. He added that the popularity of motorsports has grown substantially in the US over recent years.
As for the betting patterns, FanDuel reported that 43% of customers had backed ultimate winner Verstappen – unsurprising given his 18 victories so far this season. He was -250 favorite before the race began.