NASCAR Announces Partnership With Sportradar
The Supreme Court decided to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) last May, which essentially paved the way for individual states to decide whether or not to legalize and regulate sports betting within their borders. A number of states have already taken advantage of the ruling, with many more expected to follow in the coming months and years.
The decision has also led to a number of American professional sports leagues and teams aligning themselves with gambling entities. Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL have already agreed to sponsorship deals with sportsbooks like MGM. The NFL just announced this week that it will hold its 2020 draft in Las Vegas, AKA the gambling mecca of the United States.
NASCAR has not been as quick to jump into the world of sports betting, but it is monitoring developments. Sports leagues getting involved with gambling entities can be tricky due to perceived conflicts of interest. It is crucial for leagues and teams to make sure that integrity is still intact and that no criminal schemes take place as a result of their decision to align with such companies. That kind of thing is especially risky in college sports, as the athletes aren’t paid to play.
Sportradar has grown in profile of late. The company provides data that can be utilized to monitor betting activity in order to try and detect any potential irregular activity without having to rely on manual processing. Earlier this week, NASCAR announced a partnership with Sportradar on a multi-year deal in order to allow NASCAR to utilize those monitoring services.
NASCAR executive Brian Herbst said, “It is critical to be proactive in developing safeguards that protect NASCAR’s on-track product from any potential integrity threats. Sportradar is the leader in this space and knowing that our races will be monitored extensively, while also equipping our industry with the tools and knowledge they require, gives us peace of mind in being able to preserve the integrity of NASCAR as the U.S. wagering market continues to open.”
Per the agreement, Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) will keep an eye on all domestic and international wagering activity in order to potentially head-off suspicious activity. All 3 of NASCAR’s series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoor Truck Series, will be monitored.
Sportradar currently supplies its services to over 75 different sports leagues around the world. FIFA, the NBA and the NFL are among the more noteworthy collaborators.
NASCAR will also work with Sportradar to provide tutorials and on-site workshops for NASCAR drivers, teams and employees in order to ensure that everybody knows the dos and don’ts when it comes to betting. They will additionally offer a sports betting integrity program to teach everybody about gambling policies and rules.
Andy Cunningham, a director in Sportradar’s integrity division, said, “We are honored and excited to partner with NASCAR in what is an important time for U.S. sports following the Supreme Court sports betting decision case earlier this year. We look forward to supporting NASCAR in installing a best-in-class integrity framework to protect their sport and its constituents.”
This isn’t exactly a new partnership. In fact, NASCAR and Sportradar have been working together since 2015 in order to distribute live timing and scoring data to third-party outlets in order to offer more accurate race information. Last October, the Dover International Speedway became the first track in the United States to offer live on-site betting for a NASCAR race.
In October, NASCAR president Steve Phelps reportedly declared that the company would be introducing new guidelines for sports betting next year. At the time, Phelps said, “I think we’ll clarify for ’19 with more specific language in it. For right now, there’ll be betting here. They have a kiosk here; you can bet inside. We’ll study and see how that goes, but I think we’ll have some rules in place for sponsorship, for what betting looks like, and continue to see what happens in the landscape overall.”
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