Dover Says NASCAR Betting Helped Increase Fan Engagement
Dover Downs GM & Senior Dir of Horse Racing & Sports Betting John Hensley said that the wagering option for last weekend's NASCAR races there "seemed to increase the engagement and involvement of many fans," according to Mark Fowser of Delaware-based WDEL-AM. Hensley said, "It was an incredibly smooth experience for them. We're very impressed with the knowledge and the patience of the NASCAR fan and the motor sports fan in that environment." Delaware State Lottery Dir Vernon Kirk yesterday released numbers which "show that the total amount bet on NASCAR during what's [considered] 'race week' nearly matched the amount wagered on the sport all summer long in Delaware." The races at Dover "generated about $52,600 in bets." However, Kirk said that auto racing accounts for a "very small portion of the overall amount placed since sports betting became legal at Delaware's three casinos June 5th" -- just 0.2% out of about $40.1M. Kirk also "expected auto racing to return to the weekly average of less than $5,000 for future NASCAR weekends" (WDEL.com, 10/10). Dover Motorsports President & CEO Denis McGlynn said that bets on car racing from June 5-Sept. 30 "totaled $60,000." Bets on car racing from Oct. 1-7 totaled $49,000. McGlynn said that for Sunday's Cup race, of the $130,000 "bet on all sports, $26,000 was plunked down on racing, $15,000 in the tent near the stands, the rest in the casino." In Richmond, Randy Hallman wrote sports betting at the speedway and the adjacent Dover Downs Casino was "certainly an intriguing variation of what a NASCAR track can offer its fans" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 10/11).