The world has come to a standstill with no live events happening anywhere and not anytime soon, given current global events.
Sportsbooks are constantly looking for ways to keep going and keep the money flowing while piquing the interest of sports bettors.
We have seen a huge growth in the Esports industry in the last few weeks mainly due to the sudden shut down of live sporting events. Bettors and fanatics have started to pay more attention to virtual sports and experts say that it is just the beginning.
Several events in the past few days have gone virtual. Charles Leclerc was in the news for winning the virtual Australian GP, McLaughlin broke records in his Indycar debut, and the Virtual Grand National Horse race generated more than $5 million for the NHS.
According to the latest reports, about 4.8 million tuned in to watch the ‘race’ live on ITV, in a half-hour show that included a mock race of champions, won by Red Rum.
Professional leagues have jumped the bandwagon as they work to bring exciting and original content to viewers. The latest name to join the list is NASCAR.
The game limits bets to the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series that conducts weekly races. The event features real tracks and real drivers, hence it’s as exciting as a real race.
NASCAR has in the past worked on similar projects including the popular eNASCAR Coca Cola Racing Series. However, this one takes the game a notch higher as it features simulation drivers.
Players will be able to take part in these games without having to leave their homes, but the event will use the NASCAR iRacing platform.
The iRacing Pro Invitational Series turned out to be a major success and is still quite popular. More than 1.1 million people viewed last week’s event in Bristol. It aired on both FS1 and FOX.
The event turned out to be the third-most watched sporting event last weekend. WWE’s Friday night presentation Smackdown and the Beverly Hills Dog Show took the first two spots.
Sportsbooks saw this as an opportunity and started to take bets on the series, however, they couldn’t do it without approvals from the states. So far, only two states have been given permissions – New Jersey and Nevada.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board made an announcement a few days ago where it permitted sportsbooks to offer bets.
The board cited the “other events” part of the prevailing sports betting law.
Nevada doesn’t consider this as a sporting event, but the state is willing to allow bookies to open betting. This comes a few days after Nevada legalized betting on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, another form of Esports.
On the other hand, NJ is another state that has made it legal to bet on the event. Just like Nevada, it also does not classify the event as a sport but they put it under the sports category and approved it.
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