The Las Vegas Grand Prix is gearing up to captivate betting enthusiasts as the Formula One race takes center stage on the iconic Strip. Sportsbooks are poised for an influx of bets, expecting record-breaking handles for F1 races to flood in during the scheduled weekend.
At Caesars Sportsbook, a record betting handle has already been reported for this type of competition, indicating significant interest. Adam Pullen, Caesars' Assistant Director of Trading, told Las Vegas Review-Journal: "We knew going into it, just because of where the race is located and its proximity to betting windows, that it was going to be a record handle for Caesars for a Formula One race."
“Although we’ve already eclipsed the record handle, auto racing is a niche sport. It’s just not heavily bet," added Pullen. “The clientele that loves Formula One, they have a lot of money. It will be interesting to see how much money they’re putting down on a lot of the markets we’re offering.”
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway's NASCAR races typically generate substantial local betting action, surpassing even the Daytona 500. However, Pullen anticipates that the Las Vegas Grand Prix will set a new standard for betting handle in auto racing history.
He noted: "This is probably the most anticipated Formula One race in a long time, having the world’s best drivers and the world’s fastest cars traveling down the Strip at 200 miles per hour."
BetMGM, Station Casinos, and the Westgate SuperBook are also gearing up for record handles.
Matt Prevost, BetMGM's Chief Revenue Officer
Matt Prevost, BetMGM's Chief Revenue Officer, told Review-Journal: "Race weekend in Las Vegas has the potential to shatter every company record for the sport." He highlighted the growing popularity of automotive sports in the U.S., emphasizing the significant activity already surrounding the event.
Bookmakers have expanded their offerings, presenting an array of betting options beyond the race itself. Chuck Esposito, Sportsbook Director at Red Rock Resort, highlighted their approach: "We've treated it like other major sporting events in Vegas. We put up five pages of props. We’ve never done that before. Any time an event is here, there seems to be a huge uptake in handles, and we're capitalizing on it."
Amidst the betting fervor, concerns loom among locals regarding the logistical challenges stemming from months of race-related preparations and construction. Adam Varey, Betfred’s Head Trader, highlighted local skepticism, as per the cited source: "Many locals are questioning if it is worth the months of inconvenience caused."
While the event promises a major spectacle, analysts express uncertainties about potential upsets due to the track's novelty. Daniel Gustafsson from Kambi stated: "I think the fact that Vegas is a street race increases the chance of an upset." Alternative betting markets, such as "to win without Verstappen," offer diverse opportunities for bettors.
However, concerns arise regarding the race's start time, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local time this Satursday, potentially impacting European handle. Adam Pullen remains optimistic, expecting colossal betting figures that might set unprecedented records in the sports betting realm.