For the first time in the history of sports betting, the world has witnessed the greatest amount of gambling activity at a Formula 1 race. The first race in Vegas was groundbreaking as an opening on the Formula One (F1) list, but it also triggered more sports gambling than the famous 2021 Grand Prix de Belgique at Spa-Francorchamps.
The magnitude of gambling over the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend was unprecedented in terms of the number of bets and the amount processed. This surge in betting activity was revealed by data from top online sportsbook DraftKings. Although this case included DraftKings, the event had far-reaching consequences for other operators such as Caesars SportsBook and BetMGM.
A tripling of betting happened among some corporate entities that beat the performance statistics of the day’s famous racing event, the Daytona 500. BetMGM also reported a significant increase, particularly due to a $200,000 bet on Max Verstappen, the three-time world champion who ultimately won the race, resulting in an impressive $100,000 payout.
Since this event, Formula 1 has attracted substantial attention in sports betting, particularly in the United States. Local gamblers now find F1 racing more popular than before, despite its perception as a second-class sport compared to major American sports like football, basketball, and baseball. According to DraftKings data, nine of the top ten F1 races for betting activity this season have occurred in the last two years, or since 2022. The 2023 season will bolster this trend with three races in the United States at Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas, with the latter two serving as a gambling hub.
According to the casino news, Chuck Esposito, the Red Rock resort sportsbook director, expected the vibrancy surrounding sports betting in F1 to grow over time. In general, this is just one of those sentiments that expresses broader expectations in favor of the sport, even when placing bets. The Las Vegas Grand Prix was successful financially; it also attracted much interest and passion among the spectators and punters.
Surprisingly, DraftKings and its competitor FanDuel were able to conduct a massive rush of betting activities despite not having a license to accept wagers both locally and remotely. The high stakes during the race were mostly due to international clients arriving from Nevada or even outside of the United States; this demonstrates that people all over the world are interested in the event and what it means to them. Sports and entertainment are becoming increasingly intertwined in this day and age.