NASCAR Emphasizing Its Sports Betting Training Protocols

NASCAR has partnered with Sportradar to create an online sports betting tutorial to educate anyone who works in the sport on the protocols in effect.

NASCAR is happy with the benefits that sports betting has provided, especially in North Carolina. It is bringing more fans and additional major sponsors to the sport.

But NASCAR is not pretending that every aspect of sports betting is positive, especially with massive gambling scandals rocking the NBA and MLB.

The Tar Heel State is the home of NASCAR, and the North Carolina online sports betting market began accepting wagers in early March, so this online tutorial is more important now than ever.

The nuts and bolts of NASCAR’s sports betting tutorial program

The NASCAR sports betting tutorial is exactly what most would expect: a top-to-bottom explanation of how sports betting could affect those who work in the sport.

A memo sent to NASCAR offices in Charlotte and beyond provides the gist of the 20-minute tutorial. According to the memo,

“In short, employees cannot bet on NASCAR or NASCAR-owned properties/sanctioned events (IMSA, NASCAR-sanctioned short-track races). Members (think drivers, crew, team front office) cannot bet on NASCAR or NASCAR-sanctioned events. Employees and members can play fantasy games, but the prizes for the year cannot exceed $250.

“Otherwise, employees or members can bet on any sport.”

The tutorial will be refreshed annually. Anyone required to take it must do so once every two years.

NASCAR Managing Director of Sports Betting Joe Solosky said the meeting to announce the new tutorial was held to get everyone on the same page regarding sports betting.

“This session was intended to make our drivers aware … here’s some things to be on the lookout for if anyone is asking you any questions that seem out of the norm around anything that’s competition related … and what to do in those circumstances if that does happen,” he said.

NASCAR has admitted to having difficulty tracking all the data needed to identify potential risks. Any system built to do so would require both personal information and a way to keep it safe. Solosky said that system does not yet exist.

“To monitor that in real time, there would have to be personal information shared from the governing body — NBA, NHL, NFL or NASCAR — to the sportsbook operators, which [they would] then have to share with the leagues,” he explained. “Then there would have to be this encrypted database where people would be comfortable having that information shared.

“If there’s any sort of suspicious activity that we think is going on, there are ways that we could work with an operator to see if betting on NASCAR is happening. Fortunately, thus far, we haven’t had to exercise that.”

Drivers are excited at the prospect of gaining more fans through sports betting

Drivers have embraced the marriage of NASCAR and sports betting. For some, like Martin Truex Jr., sports betting is not something they are interested in, but they are encouraged by it. He said,

“I think there’s a lot of people that like to bet on things that probably had never watched a race before. If they can put money on it, they’re going to be interested, they’re going to be watching and they’re going to be involved, generally care about what’s going on and try to pay attention and learn about the sport. Maybe five out of 10 people that do that, it hooks them, and they like it.”

Kyle Bush feels similarly. He is from Las Vegas and believes sports betting is a big positive for NASCAR and “for the world in general.”

“The opportunity for people to go out there and place bets on their favorite drivers or their favorite scenarios throughout the week, I think it’s really awesome,” Bush said. “I think it brings more attention to our sport. I think it brings more attention to drivers’ names, so the more notoriety, the better.”

North Carolina mobile sports betting had a strong first month after its March 11 launch

North Carolina online sports betting is barely over one month old, having taken its first wagers on March 11, and it’s already enjoying a lot of success. In its first month of operation, it generated $198 million in revenue. On mobile sports betting’s first day, its revenue was just under $24 million.

North Carolina is the home of NASCAR, and there has always been wagering associated with the sport — legal or not — so it makes sense that online betting already is benefitting from the sport, and vice versa. There is no better example of this than betting on the Daytona 500 skyrocketing by 73% over the last year.

With NASCAR and beyond, North Carolina sports betting looks like it will be a big success.


Image Credit: Chris Keane / AP Images

About the Author

T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver who covers the Nuggets as a beat writer. He regularly contributes to NC Sharp on issues surrounding the online gambling market. His byline can be seen at ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and others.