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Volume 22 No. 12
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NASCAR gives teams specs for gaming deals

NASCAR had considered restricting teams to gaming sponsorships at tracks only in states that allow sports betting, but eventually decided to extend the option to races at all tracks on the circuit.
Photo: getty images

NASCAR will allow teams to have gambling sponsors at all races and is searching for a leaguewide data deal whose payments will partially go to teams, according to sources.

NASCAR formed an industry group last year to explore the wagering space. President Steve Phelps announced that the sanctioning body would release new regulations by the start of the 2019 season. Those rules have started to trickle out to industry executives in recent weeks and some of them were viewed by Sports Business Journal.

Among the regulations, NASCAR will allow teams to have sports betting sponsorships on their cars at all tracks. The sanctioning body originally considered only allowing such deals for races at the three tracks in states where sports betting is currently legal (Delaware, Pennsylvania and Nevada).

However, while media rights holders Fox Sports and NBC Sports have agreed to cover those sponsorships like any other team deal, sports wagering brands will be restricted from add-ons such as in-car cameras, due to legal issues over advertising the category across media platforms in non-legal states.

As for the sanctioning body itself, NASCAR is focused on striking partnerships in three areas in the gaming space: data feed, marketing/sponsorship and integrity/rule making.

On the data front, NASCAR is in talks with several betting companies to create a leaguewide licensing deal, from which they plan to have ancillary revenue flowing to teams. NASCAR aims to have a deal done by the season-opening Daytona Speedweeks in February.

On the sponsorship front, NASCAR is in talks with sports betting companies and is looking for one major partner that will spend across the league, teams, tracks and TV networks.

As for the integrity component, NASCAR has already announced a deal with Sportradar to monitor betting markets. The sanctioning body intends to issue rules on sports wagering to teams this month, and Sportradar will hold industry seminars.

While teams chase sponsorships with sports wagering entities, tracks’ plans are not yet clear, and neither are NASCAR’s new rules for track sponsorships related to sports wagering. Last year Dover International Speedway became the first track on the NASCAR circuit to allow on-site wagering. Dover is aligned with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino next door.