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NASCAR betting will be impacted by new postrace inspection process

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If the potential 90-minute wait to have a winning car deemed legal this season might seem interminable for an underdog, imagine the NASCAR bettor holding a 500-1 ticket.

Under the new postrace inspection policy announced this week by NASCAR, a delay at the betting window will correlate with the release of official results.

Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery that oversees sports betting in Delaware, told NBC Sports that the state’s risk manager will delay payout until the release of the official finishing order, which is expected no more than 90 minutes after the race. Delaware’s three casinos that offer sports betting will receive an email next week reminding them of the new procedure prior to the season-opening Daytona 500.

This will be a change from last fall when Dover Downs Casino cashed tickets when NASCAR released its results within 30 minutes of the first race to feature at-track sports betting.

It’s likely sports books around the country will follow a similar process for payouts, which typically occur after a sporting event becomes official.

In a statement emailed to NBC Sports, an executive with a gaming company that operates PlaySugarHouse.com and sports books in Pittsburgh (River) and Philadelphia (SugarHouse) said the delay could have an impact on the handle for NASCAR.

“One of our top priorities as a company is reliable and fast payouts to customers,” said Mattias Stetz, the chief operating officer for Rush Street Interactive. “The longer we have to wait for data, the harder it is for us to serve our customers.

“So yes, it’s better for NASCAR and all sporting events to be made official in a reasonably fast manner, as long as the accuracy of the judgment is not in question. It makes payout decisions easier and makes our customer experience more enjoyable.”

NASCAR declined comment on how sports betting, which is exploding around the country after a landmark Supreme Court ruling last May, could be impacted by its new inspection procedures.

A tent for placing bets was in the Dover FanZone last Oct. 6-7, offering NASCAR fans the ability to place nearly $18,000 in sports wagers.

From June 5, when sports betting was legalized in Delaware, through the race weekend, there was $105,900 bet on auto racing (from a total of $40.1 million in wagers), and $52,600 was bet on NASCAR during the race week at Delaware’s three casinos. There were at least 50 winning tickets on Oct. 7 winner Chase Elliott, who opened at 10-1 and went off at 17-1.

Denis McGlynn, the president and CEO of Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. and also Dover Motorsports, Inc., told NBC Sports that the company is “at this point, not concerned” about whether the longer wait for official results because of disqualifications will make a difference. Dover Downs allows bettors one year to cash their winning tickets either in person or by mailing to the Delaware Lottery office.

“We expect growth regardless given last fall was our first go with wagering, and more fans should be aware this time around,” McGlynn said. “We’re all still in the learning phase.”

Though the longer wait also raises the possibility of patrons lingering longer postrace at Dover Downs, McGlynn said he “doubts very much that people will hang around for an hour after the race for the official winner to be confirmed unless that was otherwise their original plan.”

NASCAR partners with Sportradar for gambling fraud detection service

Sportradar
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NASCAR has entered a multi-year agreement with Sportradar to make use of its sports betting fraud monitoring services, the two companies announced Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) will monitor domestic and global betting activity for signs of fraudulent activity for all three of NASCAR’s national series: the Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

NASCAR will also have use of Sportradar’s Education and Prevention Services, which includes on-site workshops for NASCAR drivers, teams, officials and associated stakeholders delivered by Sportradar’s integrity and educational experts. Sportradar’s Integrity Services will also help NASCAR develop a full-fledged betting integrity program, including betting-related rules and policies.

NASCAR and Sportrader have an established history. In 2015, SportsData, a subsidiary of Sportrader, partnered with NASCAR to distribute its live timing and scoring data to third-party digital outlets.

The announcement of the partnership is the last step in NASCAR embracing sports gambling following a ruling by the Supreme Court in May that allowed states to decide if they allow sports betting.

In October, Dover International Speedway in Delaware became the first track that hosts NASCAR to introduce at-track betting.

That weekend NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the sanctioning body will add rules clarifying its policy for competitors in 2019.

“I think for ’19 we’ll have some rules that we’ll put in place,” Phelps said. “For right now, there’ll be betting here. We’ll study and see how that goes, but I think we’ll have some rules in place for sponsorship, for what betting looks like and continue to see what happens in the landscape overall.”

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Breaking down Dover’s NASCAR betting week by the numbers

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The numbers are in after the first weekend of at-track sports betting on NASCAR at Dover International Speedway.

In conjunction with the adjacent Dover Downs Casino, the track established a tent in its FanZone to take bets from NASCAR fans just outside its main entrance Saturday and Sunday.

According to the Delaware Lottery, which oversees sports wagering in the state:

  • There was $52,600 wagered on auto racing last week at Delaware’s three casinos, including $12,100 on proposition bets.
  • Since sports betting was legalized June 5, there had been $105,900 bet on auto racing (from a total of $40.1 million wagered). So the amount bet on racing during the week that NASCAR raced at Dover nearly matched the prior total ($53,300). Since its launch four months ago, auto racing has accounted for 0.2 percent of the total amount wagered at Delaware’s three casinos.
  • Of the $601,700 bet on sports at Dover Downs last week, $17,800 was wagered in the FanZone tent (breakdowns according to sports weren’t available).
  • Last week’s “hold” for auto racing, or the amount of money kept by the Delaware Lottery after all bets on the sport were settled, was $3,700 (which is 7 percent of the total wagered on auto racing last week).

According to Dover Downs and track officials:

  • There were at least 50 winning tickets on Chase Elliott, who opened at 10-1 and went off at 17-1 before his second career victory.
  • Over the course of two days, nearly 3,000 bets were made at the tent, which had a line of more than 50 people during prerace Sunday.
  • The breakdown of NASCAR betting was roughly 60 percent on race or stage winners, 20 percent on matchups between two drivers and 20 percent on proposition betting.

 

NASCAR betting could be available in Dover when circuit returns this fall

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With Delaware moving quickly to implement full sports betting by next month, Dover International Speedway is anticipating it could offer NASCAR betting when the circuit returns in the fall.

Denis McGlynn, the president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. and Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., said in a Thursday phone interview with NBCSports.com that he had spoken with NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton about the possibility at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.

“(Helton) said, ‘Give me a few days, let our lawyers look through this,’ ” McGlynn said. “I can’t say for sure yet on if there’ll be betting in the fall, but I anticipate they’ll want to let us do that.”

MORE: Harvick says NASCAR should share gambling revenue with teams

McGlynn said it was too early to be sure on whether there would be betting on NASCAR races other than those held at the 1-mile oval adjacent to the trackside facility.

A spokesman said NASCAR had no further comment beyond a Monday statement that it was aware of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in a gambling case and would be monitoring its impact.

Dover has one of three casinos in Delaware for sports betting. The Delaware Park location near Wilmington would expect to be the “largest volume producer” because of its proximity to Philadelphia, McGlynn said.

Sports betting is available at Dover during the NFL season but only as a three-game parlay (which qualifies as a state-approved lottery-style structure). The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision will allow Dover to offer straight bets (e.g., picking a winner in each NBA Finals game if the system is in place by then).

Though more than 90 percent of sports book betting in Las Vegas is on football and basketball, McGlynn is optimistic that NASCAR betting could catch on and appeal to a “younger demographic that may not be historically interested in NASCAR but is historically interested in betting on sports. Adding the dimensions of betting on NASCAR could enhance the customer experience of betting on site but also increase viewership at home.”

McGlynn used the analogy of how the growth of rotisserie baseball leagues in the 1980s helped spur more leaguewide interest.

“You could have prop bets within the game itself such as Kevin Harvick vs. Jimmie Johnson, or who will win the first stage or second stage,” McGlynn said. “Those kinds of bets, once they can be established during race, there’s a way to magnify the initial interest on just the outcome.”

McGlynn said sports betting in Delaware eventually could become mobile, though bets still would have to be made within the state.

Dover Downs begins training its casino employees next week on new software for the sports betting.

“It’s going to be an evolutionary process,” McGlynn said. “It’s very, very early in that process. It’s going to be an early June target to start.”