NASCAR, Genius Sports Strike Proprietary Betting Data Deal

NASCAR, Genius Sports Strike Proprietary Betting Data Deal

Following the path of other many other North American-based professional sports leagues, NASCAR is making a play into the legalized sports betting industry with a data partnership that it hopes will create greater fan interest and engagement.

NASCAR announced Friday that Genius Sports is now the exclusive provider of NASCAR data to licensed sportsbooks that will use the proprietary information to set up-to-the minute betting lines for traditional wagers and prop bets.

The data goes beyond NASCAR betting on who won a given race – it also likely will include elements such as the number of green-flag passes, fastest single lap by a driver, fastest average speed over a predetermined number of laps, and fastest pit stop.

NASCAR Data Can Serve Gambling Purposes

It will take Genius Sports several months before it can offer sportsbooks official data obtained from NASCAR. The company plans an even more extensive platform rollout later in 2019 or early 2020.

NASCAR’s agreement with Genius Sports is the sanctioning body’s first data partnership in a sports gaming industry that is burgeoning since a landmark decision last May, by the U.S. Supreme Court, which lifted a federal ban on legalized sports betting outside of Nevada.

Genius Sports has similar deals with the NBA, NCAA, PGA Tour and the English Premier League. The NFL is the lone remaining major sports league in the U.S. to yet align itself with a company to provide propriety data to licensed sportsbooks for gambling purposes.

“Partnering with Genius Sports allows us to deliver a dynamic fan engagement platform in the rapidly-growing world of legalized sports gaming,” said Brian Herbst, senior vice president, broadcasting and innovation for NASCAR. “This new relationship will provide another entry point to the sport and complements our strategy to create a more immersive experience for fans.”

The partnership between NASCAR and Genius Sports comes on the same weekend NASCAR’s three national series race in Delaware, which was the first state to legalize sports betting other than Nevada when its sportsbooks began taking wagers June 5, 2018.

Dover International Speedway will again have a betting kiosk on its grounds throughout the race weekend, similar to NASCAR’s race at the one-mile oval track in October. This sportsbook is operated by the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, on same the property as the track but owned by a separate company.

According to the Delaware Sports Lottery, which oversees legal sports wagering in the state, $52,600 was bet on auto racing at Delaware’s three sportsbooks during Dover’s NASCAR weekend last fall. And less than 0.1 percent of the total sports betting in Delaware has been on NASCAR since the state’s first sportsbook become operational in June.

NASCAR Embraces Legalized Sports Betting

In addition to Nevada, where sports wagering has long been legal, sportsbooks have since become operational in seven states since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Many other states are considering legislation.

NASCAR’s three national series competes in three states -- Delaware, Nevada and Pennsylvania -- where wagering on sports is currently legal. Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee also host NASCAR national series races and bills have landed on governors’ desks in all three states.

Before the 2019 season, NASCAR modified its stance on relationships with companies in the gaming industry as sports betting has gained wider acceptance. Other professional sports leagues have also embraced the potential of betting on their sports.

NASCAR now lets its teams and tracks enter into sponsorship agreements with casinos, licensed sportsbooks and companies within the gaming industry. It also instituted an integrity program and gambling policy that forbids drivers and team members from wagering on races or disclosing information that that would influence bets.

Kyle Busch is the betting favorite to win NASCAR’s premier series championship, the Monster Energy Cup, when the season ends in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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