Though it divided locals, had a rocky beginning, and is still facing legal fallout, the Las Vegas Grand Prix ultimately provided a historic windfall for sportsbooks.
Even as Max Verstappen continued his Formula 1 dominance with his 16th win in 17 races, Caesars Sportsbooks set a new company record for total betting handle on any motorsports event, while rival entity BetMGM and the local Station Casinos, Westgate SuperBook, and Red Rock Resort similarly reported record handle for an F1 Race.
“It was three times Daytona’s numbers,” Craig Mucklow, Caesars vice president of trading, told the Las Vegas Review Journal, referencing the high-profile NASCAR event. “It was well over seven figures.”
BetMGM said it tripled the number of bets for any prior F1 event during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The full impact of the race on sportsbooks will be more fully understood next month, when the Nevada Gaming Control Board releases its monthly report for November.
The 10 p.m. local start time of the race — 1 a.m. on the East Coast — remains the subject of debate, and efforts are already in motion to ensure an earlier start. That time was chosen in part to minimize the disruption to local citizens, who already endured months of headaches due to the extended track construction.
But several drivers and team executives are also pushing for an earlier start to aid their own time-zone acclimation traveling from Europe, as F1 continues to show growing pains in becoming a truly global sport.
“In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for the European people, and we had to stick to the European timing, and it was okay,” said Fred Vasseur, Ferrari team principal, to ESPN. “Now it’s a worldwide project, and it’s much more difficult to find something fitting with the expectations of the 24-hour zone.”