North Carolina Helping To Fuel NASCAR’s Sports Betting Surge

North Carolina could soon be a major contributor to the tremendous growth of betting action on NASCAR. Wagering on the sport is up 50% nationwide in the first two months of the 2024 season, according to NASCAR.

The North Carolina sports betting industry is now a month old, with eight sportsbooks serving players in the Tar Heel State. A report released this week shows that $659 million in wagers were placed in the state from March 11 to March 31.

This is the time of year when NASCAR sees the most betting action, according to Joe Solosky, NASCAR managing director of sports betting.

“When we get to September, October, November, we’re competing against football, which we know is by far the most popular sport to bet on. So, the prime months for us to capitalize on the general sports betting audience, not just the NASCAR fan, is from now through August. That’s where we saw a lot of the growth last year, from the month of May to August.”

NASCAR already feeling impact from North Carolina betting

North Carolina and NASCAR have always had a special relationship. The bond should only strengthen from North Carolina sports betting.

Even after just a few weeks of legal sports wagering in NC, Solosky told Auto Week that an impact is being felt.

“Depending on the sportsbook, North Carolina is either the first, second or fourth … biggest state in terms of NASCAR betting volume in the first month of legalization, which is really impressive. For it to be a top-five state for those sportsbooks … shows that the North Carolina effect is real. Having a large fan base [in North Carolina] leads to more engagement in the sport.”

North Carolina is home to several of the NASCAR race teams. The state also houses the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

It’s not only North Carolina fueling NASCAR’s betting surge. Solosky said three states with legal sports betting – Mississippi, Nevada and New York – “have tripled their volume on NASCAR year over year.”

In an interview with NCSharp last year, Solosky identified room for growth in NASCAR betting, particularly “efforts to make NASCAR a week-long betting opportunity.” That means markets opening for practice and qualifying laps in the days before the main event.

DraftKings partners with NASCAR

The confluence of sports betting and racing was illustrated earlier this year when DraftKings and NASCAR partnered to bring the popular sportsbook to North Carolina. The agreement between the two enabled DraftKings to be among the first sportsbooks available in NC.

DraftKings has a strong relationship with NASCAR. It sponsors two cars, one the No. 45 vehicle driven by Tyler Reddick.

NASCAR has been diligent in advocating for responsible gambling. It has a policy that bans offshore/illegal sportsbooks from sponsoring cars.

Coca-Cola 600 one of NASCAR’s premier events

Charlotte Motor Speedway is the site of the annual Coca-Cola 600. This year, it will be May 26. The signature event has been held annually since 1960. Past winners include racing legends Richard Petty, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt.

The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the crown jewels of the NASCAR Cup Series. It attracts more than 90,000 racing fans every year.


Image Credit: Erik Verduzco / AP Images

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.