NASCAR betting will be impacted by new postrace inspection process

Nate Ryan
NBC Sports

If the potential 90-minute wait to have a winning car deemed legal this season might seem interminable for an underdog, imagine the NASCAR bettor holding a 500-1 ticket.

Under the new postrace inspection policy announced this week by NASCAR, a delay at the betting window will correlate with the release of official results.

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Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery that oversees sports betting in Delaware, told NBC Sports that the state’s risk manager will delay payout until the release of the official finishing order, which is expected no more than 90 minutes after the race. Delaware’s three casinos that offer sports betting will receive an email next week reminding them of the new procedure prior to the season-opening Daytona 500.

This will be a change from last fall when Dover Downs Casino cashed tickets when NASCAR released its results within 30 minutes of the first race to feature at-track sports betting.

It’s likely sports books around the country will follow a similar process for payouts, which typically occur after a sporting event becomes official.

In a statement emailed to NBC Sports, an executive with a gaming company that operates PlaySugarHouse.com and sports books in Pittsburgh (River) and Philadelphia (SugarHouse) said the delay could have an impact on the handle for NASCAR.

“One of our top priorities as a company is reliable and fast payouts to customers,” said Mattias Stetz, the chief operating officer for Rush Street Interactive. “The longer we have to wait for data, the harder it is for us to serve our customers.

“So yes, it’s better for NASCAR and all sporting events to be made official in a reasonably fast manner, as long as the accuracy of the judgment is not in question. It makes payout decisions easier and makes our customer experience more enjoyable.”

NASCAR declined comment on how sports betting, which is exploding around the country after a landmark Supreme Court ruling last May, could be impacted by its new inspection procedures.

A tent for placing bets was in the Dover FanZone last Oct. 6-7, offering NASCAR fans the ability to place nearly $18,000 in sports wagers.

From June 5, when sports betting was legalized in Delaware, through the race weekend, there was $105,900 bet on auto racing (from a total of $40.1 million in wagers), and $52,600 was bet on NASCAR during the race week at Delaware’s three casinos. There were at least 50 winning tickets on Oct. 7 winner Chase Elliott, who opened at 10-1 and went off at 17-1.

Denis McGlynn, the president and CEO of Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. and also Dover Motorsports, Inc., told NBC Sports that the company is “at this point, not concerned” about whether the longer wait for official results because of disqualifications will make a difference. Dover Downs allows bettors one year to cash their winning tickets either in person or by mailing to the Delaware Lottery office.

“We expect growth regardless given last fall was our first go with wagering, and more fans should be aware this time around,” McGlynn said. “We’re all still in the learning phase.”

Though the longer wait also raises the possibility of patrons lingering longer postrace at Dover Downs, McGlynn said he “doubts very much that people will hang around for an hour after the race for the official winner to be confirmed unless that was otherwise their original plan.”

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