New Jersey gaming officials took a close look at NASCAR iRacing in Nevada and decided they wanted to make some money too. Both states are now able to offer betting on NASCAR’s very popular iRacing events.
There have been some arguments as to whether these are really “sporting events,” and the final outcome has not yet been determined. An insider in the New Jersey Gaming Commission said, “It’s not ideal, but it will bring in much-needed revenue until sports can start up again.”
There is a caveat that sportsbooks in Nevada and New Jersey must adhere to: The only thing sportsbooks can offer their account holders is the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. A feature that some gaming officials in both states found appealing is that the iRacing events have actual NASCAR drivers participating in the series.
Past eSports events that NASCAR has delivered was the eNASCAR Coca Cola Series, which started in 2016. That event featured 40 of the best simulated drivers. That’s a huge difference, said a New Jersey gaming official.
NASCAR Drivers Participate Via Their Home Set-Ups
An interesting factoid with these iNASCAR events is that the NASCAR drivers, actual and virtual, perform from their own homes. They have equipment set up in their homes and sign in to the iRacing.com platform.
Gaming officials in Nevada and now New Jersey say they are quite grateful for this technology from NASCAR, as it’s taken off and become incredibly popular, filling a deep void that the coronavirus has created in the sports world.
ShowBuzzDaily has been keeping tabs on how these iNASCAR and other iRacing events have been doing.
According to their data, Bristol iRacing, which was last week, had an all-time high viewership for this type of iRacing event. It was the third-most-watched iRacing event in the United States, drawing in over 1.179 million viewers over FS1 and FOX.
New Jersey and Nevada are not looking at iRacing events as genuine sports events. They are being billed as “other events,” but anything to fill the void is a gift, say gaming officials in both states. If it’s this or nothing, it’s a no-brainer, but as a stand-alone event, it still has a huge following.
iRacing Approved Thanks To Emergency Meeting
The Nevada Gaming Control Board held a special meeting to look at all of the legalities involved with issuing sportsbooks a license to offer iRacing events. iNASCAR events are allowed under an “other events clause” in the laws governing sports betting.
It was a bit tricky getting iRacing events approved for sports betting. Because Nevada was able to do that successfully, New Jersey already had a model to follow. There are stringent laws in place that govern sports betting in all states where it is currently legal.
Although Nevada has some of the most liberal and progressive laws dealing with sports betting, there are still rules and regulations. The iRacing events are not really live sporting events because they are virtual events, said an official in Nevada.
Live sporting events like basketball and boxing matches are governed by another arm of the gaming commission in Nevada and New Jersey. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has decided to classify iRacing events as eSports vs. “Other Events” like Nevada calls it.
It’s similar, but a little different said a New Jersey gaming official. Thus far, the iRacing series through NASCAR is the first and only eSport currently available to sportsbooks in New Jersey.