NASCAR and a global sports data company are teaming up to develop a race-car gaming platform, which will include real-time wagering, for legal sports betting in Pennsylvania and around the country.
The gaming platform will likely be available for PA online betting apps, which are gearing up to launch soon. According to NASCAR, only licensed sportsbooks in regulated jurisdictions can purchase access to official data.
Don’t hit the accelerator just yet, though. NASCAR’s platform will not go live until at least the 2020 racing season.
NASCAR gaming coming to an app near you
Genius Sports will use NASCAR’s official data feed to create a product meant to rev up fan interest and engagement in events. The sport has been seeing sharp declines in live attendance and broadcast ratings over the past decade. An interactive product is hoping to reverse the trend.
Brian Herbst, the senior vice president for broadcasting and innovation at NASCAR, said in a press release.
“Partnering with Genius Sports allows us to deliver a dynamic fan engagement platform in the rapidly-growing world of legalized sports gaming. The in-game experience that we’re building through Genius will have live odds around NASCAR. This new relationship will provide another entry point to the sport.”
London-based Genius already partners with the NBA and NCAA. It also provides others, including the PGA Tour and others with data to ensure integrity.
Mark Locke, Genius Sports CEO, commented on the partnership:
“NASCAR fans are some of the most devoted in the world, and we look forward to helping them to create a deeper, more connected experience that is both safe and secure as the business of sports betting continues to evolve in the U.S. Furthermore, our global relationships will help bring the excitement of NASCAR racing to new audiences both within the U.S. and in new territories around the world.”
PA sportsbooks gear up for local NASCAR event
The NASCAR announcement comes as Pennsylvania sportsbooks are gearing up to take betting online.
The gaming platform might not arrive until 2020, but NASCAR’S premier Pennsylvania event, the Pocono 400 is just around the corner. The infamous “Start your engines,” takes place on June 2 at the Pocono Raceway in Longpond.
The Pocono Raceway is just 90 miles from Philadelphia, the location for many of the state’s retail sportsbook options:
- Sugarhouse Sportsbook
- Parx Sportsbook
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Fan Duel at Valley Forge Casino
- South Philadelphia Turf Club
- Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook
Pocono is also near the well-established New Jersey gambling market with 13 online operations offering sports betting.
NASCAR popular in PA
NASCAR has a long history in Pennsylvania. It held its first event at Pocono in 1974.
The track, known as “The Tricky Triangle,” is notable for having the widest and longest straightaway course on the NASCAR circuit.
New Jersey native, Martin Truex Jr. won the Pocono race last year and was the second finisher the year before. He also won a Dover Speedway NASCAR event in Delaware earlier this month on the 50th anniversary of the track.
The driver is a regional fan favorite, having grown up in New Jersey where he began racing on Jersey tracks as a teen. Truex remains a dedicated fan of the Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies, despite living now in North Carolina. He’s expected at the upcoming Pocono race.
Besides Pennsylvania, other states that either have or are in the process of adopting legalized sports betting and host a NASCAR track include:
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
Genius spokesperson Chris Dougan summed up what the partnership between NASCAR and Genius Sports means:
“I think a whole new generation and a whole new demographic could become engaged with NASCAR.”