NASCAR Inks Responsible Sports Betting Partnership

Written By Dann Stupp on September 18, 2020 - Last Updated on October 15, 2020

NASCAR has become the first professional sports league to partner with the American Gaming Association on a responsible sports betting campaign.

ADA officials recently announced the motorsports giant’s inclusion in the “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly” public service campaign.

It’s a trailblazing partnership for NASCAR, which has deep ties in Virginia.

In fact, two of NASCAR’s best-known racetracks are in the commonwealth.

Why NASCAR embraced responsible sports betting

NASCAR isn’t quite as popular among sports bettors as the NFL, NBA and other major leagues. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR races took place while most other leagues shut down.

That resulted in an uptick in NASCAR betting.

Some sportsbooks even took bets on the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, which had a handful of nationally televised “virtual” races.

With that surge of popularity, as well the proliferation of legal sports betting in a growing number of US states, NASCAR took a proactive stance on responsible wagering.

Now, NASCAR and the AGA, a national trade group, will develop co-branded content. It’ll encourage sports bettors to “Know When To Pit” and bet responsibly.

As NASCAR Managing Director of Gaming Scott Warfield said:

“Ensuring that our fans have the resources to bet responsibly is a founding principle of our gaming strategy. The AGA uniquely understands the convergence of legal betting, sports, and responsible gaming. As sports bettors increasingly engage with NASCAR, we look forward to working together to promote bettor education and resources that help prepare our fans for the rapidly expanding legal sports betting landscape.”

NASCAR in Virginia

The top-level NASCAR Cup Series typically visits Virginia four times per year with a pair of races at both Richmond Raceway and Martinsville Speedway. Nearby Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee also hosts two races each season.

Additionally, the longest continuously operating NASCAR team, Wood Brothers Racing, is in the state. Current NASCAR drivers such as Denny Hamlin and retired drivers such as Ricky Rudd also hail from the Old Dominion State.

Virginians will also soon have a new way to enjoy the NASCAR experience. The first Virginia sportsbooks will be online beginning in January, and NASCAR betting will be one of the many offerings.

Additionally, the Virginia Lottery will allow NASCAR tracks in the commonwealth to apply for sports betting licenses. The tracks would then be able to partner with a sportsbook operator and accept NASCAR wagers right on site.

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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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