Wednesday saw NASCAR dip yet another toe into the legal sports betting waters after striking a deal to license official assets – including iconic tracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International – to IMG Arena for a virtual betting product that will be offered to bookmakers around the globe.
The NASCAR virtual product, which will be developed by IMG’s longtime partner Leap Gaming (in which IMG holds an ownership stake), will bolster IMG Arena’s existing virtual betting product portfolio of tennis, football, cycling and animal racing.
NASCAR’s “long-term” pact with IMG Arena also includes offering livestreaming rights for NASCAR Cup Series races to international (non-US and Canada) bookmakers. IMG currently boasts a streaming rights stable that includes major European football and basketball leagues, tennis tournaments, snooker, cricket and the National Hockey League.
IMG Arena’s FA Cup streaming deals with UK bookmakers recently came under fire from the usual media suspects, who claimed to be outraged on behalf of footie fans who couldn’t catch the games on their local TV stations.
NASCAR was among the first major sports bodies to embrace legal wagering following the US Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling, laying out a betting policy for officials, team owners, drivers and crew less than seven months later.
NASCAR followed that up with a live betting data deal with Genius Sports and its first ‘authorized gaming operator’ deal with casino operator Penn National Gaming that saw the launch of a free-play mobile game called NASCAR Finish Line.