The entire sports world is currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that has forced organizations and sports betting industry leaders to get creative. Sportsbooks continue searching for new bets to offer on their sites, and professional sports organizations need to deliver a product to bring in some revenue.
NASCAR is one of the sports that is currently shut down due to the pandemic, but they have found a way to deliver some excitement to their die-hard fans. They have developed eNASCAR, which is a form of esports, and it has already become extremely popular.
NASCAR has launched its iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series, and it gives fans a chance to take on the famous racetracks that they have come to know and love. The iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series allows drivers to compete against one another in a virtual setting.
NASCAR has turned its speedways into digitized versions, and they hold weekly events. This week’s eNASCAR race will be held at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The problem with eSports is that most sportsbooks were unable to take bets on the action, as state laws prohibited betting on this type of action. Industry leaders have been working hard to challenge these laws, and the state of Nevada recently made a decision. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has approved betting on the iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series, meaning that sportsbooks can now set odds for the upcoming races.
One stipulation is that any sportsbook accepting bets on this new type of game must make bettors aware of how this action works. Each driver will have different odds placed on them before a race, and some drivers are much more equipped to perform well in the game than are their competitors.
While this ruling by the Nevada Gaming Control Board benefits residents of Las Vegas, Penn National Gaming is providing betting options for the rest of the country. Bettors can find prop betting options on the iRacing.com Pro Invitational Series on the Finish Line mobile app that is produced by the company. The Finish Line app will also have fantasy games available surrounding this event.
Penn National Gaming is also offering bettors a chance to win a jackpot prize by correctly picking the top two finishers of the upcoming race. Entry into the contest is free, and will continue throughout the eSports season until real racing resumes. Penn National Gaming is now the title sponsor of the virtual race set to be held on May 3 at the Dover International Speedway.
This Follows the Rise of ESports, Virtual Sports Betting
With sports betting shut down, there has been a huge rise in the playing of eSports and virtual sports over the last few weeks. ESports allows players to compete against one another, while virtual sports is a computer-generated game with the results based on an algorithm that is set up by the sportsbooks.
NBA players are currently competing in an eSports tournament that can be seen on ESPN. The winner of the tournament will donate their money to charity, but there are plenty of betting options available surrounding the event as well.
Another extremely popular esports game is called Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently approved legal betting on the ESL Pro League, which is the biggest CS:GO group in the industry.
Sportsbooks in Nevada quickly began setting betting odds and lines on ESL Pro League matchups, and they will continue, even when real sports resume. Other forms of esports and virtual sports are likely to be approved soon, but the NGCB will have to review each case.