NASCAR announces its new sports betting partner

by William Brown Last Updated
Four Aces and Australian currency

A popular American sporting association has added a new, authorised sports betting operator.

Sports Business Daily reports NASCAR has added BetMGM, which launched its official data offering only a month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced sports to shut down.

MGM International’s sports betting platform will offer live, in-race betting from next year.

The multi-year partnership names BetMGM as an authorised gaming operator of the auto racing association and will allow the platform to collaborate with NASCAR to create and promote sports betting experiences.

The two are exploring bet types such as top-finishing drivers, driver matchups, stage winners and bets tied to the number of the winning car, among others.

The BetMGM platform is set to expand its wager offerings through its mobile app throughout the NASCAR season, offering pre-race and in-play bets.

Starting in 2021, it will begin to offer live, in-play betting, according to a Tuesday news release.

The BetMGM platform – a joint venture between MGM and GVC Holdings – is currently offered in seven states and plans to be live in 11 by the end of the year.

According to the release, NASCAR has experienced “across-the-board growth” in its sports betting handle.

BetMGM saw NASCAR turnover grow nearly 1,300 per cent in the first seven months of the year.

It was also the first sports league to join the National Centre for Responsible Gaming, in 2019.

Scott Warfield, NASCAR’s managing director of gaming, said partnering BetMGM will allow the association to “build on the positive energy and momentum” around in-race betting experience.

William Hill to close 119 UK betting shops

Popular bookmaker William Hill said it is shutting 119 betting shops in the UK.

Yahoo News reported in August that the company, which has 1,500 UK outlets said it did not expect customers to return in the numbers seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said about 300 staff were impacted and most had been redeployed elsewhere.

William Hill said it is repaying 24.5 million pounds of UK furlough funds as trade has recovered well post-lockdown.

Its comments come as it reported pre-tax profits of 141 million pounds in the first six months of 2020, compared with a loss of 63 million pounds last year.

Its revenues fell by a third though, to 554 million pounds, reflecting the impact of lockdown and so many sporting events cancelled.

William Hill employs 7,000 people in the UK and a further 5,000 people in 9 other countries.

In a statement, the bookmaker said: “We anticipate that longer term retail footfall will not return to pre-COVID levels and 119 UK shops will remain closed following early lease breaks, with the majority of colleagues redeployed within the estate.”

Fewer than 20 people will not be redeployed.

The company said trading had been strong before the pandemic, but when the lockdown came in, it had controlled costs “effectively” and was recovering well.

Its presence on the High Street and town centres was already receding.

Last year, William Hill said it was cutting 700 shops after new regulations cut the size of a stake in fixed-odds betting terminals, gaming machines in shops, from 100 pounds to 2 pounds.

Partner at Begbies Traynor Julie Palmer said a spike in bored consumers trying online gaming provided some respite and much-needed revenue for the company to target.

“The business will need to continue developing its technology platform and product offering if it is to regain some of the lost revenue from the past few months, in what is a competitive market.”

William Hill plans to expand further in the US, where new opportunities are arising as the country’s previously strict gambling rules are relaxed in some states.

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