In a world largely devoid of sports, you can now place your bets on NASCAR races — that take place virtually — in Nevada.
The Silver State became the first US jurisdiction to allow legal betting on NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, the video simulation that has real stock-car drivers behind the virtual wheel.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board gave the green light to wagering in a memo released on Friday. You can read more on the details of legal betting on the events from the NGCB.
The next NASCAR iRacing pro series event takes place Sunday at 1 pm Eastern. The “Food City Showdown,” will air on Fox, FS1 and the Fox Sports App. NASCAR drivers like Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. take part in the series.
Which Nevada sportsbooks will have action?
We don’t know which Nevada sportsbooks will be taking action, yet. But seeing as the sports betting landscape is rather barren, it’s likely several will jump at the chance to take action here.
While physical sportsbooks are closed in the state, there are multiple sports betting sites that could take wagers.
Circa Sports in Las Vegas offered lines briefly two weeks ago before abruptly pulling them down:
eNASCAR 🏁 Dixie Vodka 150
📺 10:30am PT on FS1 and the Fox Sports app
— Circa Sports (@CircaSports) March 21, 2020
Will more states have NASCAR iRacing betting soon?
Nevada is notoriously conservative on what it does and doesn’t allow sportsbooks to take bets on.
However, Nevada sportsbooks have been allowed to petition state regulators on esports betting on events like League of Legends for years. But very few requests have been made and very few events have ended up seeing action, mostly because bookmakers thought there would be little interest.
Of course, the world is very different right now. The NASCAR pro series has attracted a lot of attention, getting nearly a million viewers a week on television. And there are free-to-play and paid contests cropping up from the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel and Barstool Sports.
But will other states allow this kind of esports betting? Here are other states that have online betting:
- New Jersey has previously approved betting on esports but would have to specifically give approval for NASCAR iRacing.
- Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Iowa, Oregon and New Hampshire do not currently have odds for NASCAR iRacing, but these states could move to allow them.
- Indiana has a ban on esports wagering.