NASCAR Updates Gambling Policy: Bans all Employees from Betting on Sport
With only a few weeks left before the green flag is waived on the 2019 season, NASCAR updated their official rulebook this week by unveiling a new Sports Betting Policy. This comes on the heels of last week’s landmark announcement, which allowed teams to seek and accept sports betting and gambling sponsorships. NASCAR worked with Sportrader Integrity Services to come up with these rule changes. Ultimately, the goal for this new policy is to protect the integrity of the sport.
What’s the New Sports Betting Policy?
Like the majority of professional sports leagues in America, NASCAR has embraced the expanding legalized sports betting market. They even took it a step further than their contemporaries by allowing teams to have gambling and sports betting sponsors for their cars. This could open up the sport to new sponsorships and advertising revenue streams. With that said, it’s also opened up the sport for a need to protect itself.
The new Sports Betting Policy, rule number 12.9.2, bans all NASCAR members and employees from any legal or illegal gambling on a NASCAR event. This includes all levels of NASCAR racing. The policy change goes on to state that no member of NASCAR can give advice or instruct others for the sake of gambling purposes.
“All NASCAR members have an obligation to protect the integrity of the sport. Gambling on NASCAR Events by Members can post a series threat to the integrity of NASCAR, its stakeholders, and the industry as a whole. The integrity of NASCAR Competition remains our greatest asset.”
What’s the Punishment for Violating the New Policy?
Not only does this new policy ban all NASCAR members and employees from betting on sports, it also bans all drivers, owners, crew members, and team officials. If anyone is caught violating this policy they can be subject to the following minimum punishments:
- Fines of $150,000 to $200,000 dollars
- An indefinite suspension
- A possible termination
Furthermore, any NASCAR member, employee or team member that witnesses or learns of a violation of this policy is required to report the incident without delay.
NASCAR Doesn’t Shy Away from Sports Betting, They Embrace it
NASCAR should be lauded for its efforts to embrace sports betting while protecting the integrity of the sport. They released the following public statement about the rule changes:
“As legalized Sports Gambling expands across the country, the NASCAR industry will adapt accordingly while continuing to protect our greatest asset – the integrity of NASCAR competition. We’ve partnered with a global leader, Sportradar Integrity Services, to develop a comprehensive Sports Gambling policy in the NASCAR Rule Book that protects the integrity of NASCAR competition and provides the industry with tools on how to comply.”
This is a professional sport that is building the proper foundation to grow with sports betting as we embark on a new future. A concept that the NFL fails to embrace. Dover International Speedway is a perfect example of this newfound marriage between sports betting and NASCAR as the track allows on-site sports betting through kiosks on the property.
What About Fantasy NASCAR?
The new policy basically banned all kinds of gambling on NASCAR including sports betting and lottery games. However, NASCAR did allow for members and employees to continue participating in fantasy sports. This is a niche that NASCAR plans on embracing more in order to connect with a younger audience, improve ratings and find additional revenue streams.
NASCAR is allowing members and employees to play fantasy sports related to any of the racing levels: Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity Series, and the Truck Series. However, they can’t collect prizes that have a value larger than $250.
Additional Policy Changes
Sports betting wasn’t the only off-track rule change that NASCAR has implemented this year. In an effort to gain more fans at the tracks and improve overall fan engagement, NASCAR is allowing fans to have access to the garages. This change does have some limitations as these fan access opportunities will be scheduled within certain windows. For example, NASCAR has already released the following garage access schedule for the upcoming 2019 Daytona 500:
- February 10th: between 9:30 am and 11:30am ET. This falls on the day where drivers set out to qualify for the Daytona 500.
- February 14th: between 4pm and 6pm ET. This falls on the day where drivers try to qualify for the Daytona Duels.
With sagging ratings, a drop in live attendance, and the oldest fans on average, NASCAR is aggressively trying to improve these significant concerns. It will be interesting to see if increased fan access and a relationship with the sports betting industry will help boost ratings or attendance figures.
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