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NASCAR Signs Deal To Develop Betting On Races

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

NASCAR is joining other major U.S. sports leagues in venturing into the betting business. The auto racing circuit announced Tuesday it has signed a multi-year deal with New Jersey-based BetMGM to develop and promote betting on races. 

The companies said BetMGM will take bets at its own casinos and through its mobile app, eventually including bets placed during races. 

NASCAR gaming director Scott Warfield said in a statement that the deal "positions NASCAR to build on the positive energy and momentum we’re seeing around gaming and in particular the live in-race experience." 

BetMGM said it is considering a variety of pre-race and in-race bets, such as top-finishing drivers, driver matchups, stage winners and bets tied to the number of the winning car.

The deal comes two years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized sports betting and one year after North Carolina passed a law allowing sports betting at casinos on tribal lands.  

But betting is off the table for now in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee's two casinos in western North Carolina aren't yet taking sports bets.  And the state's sports betting law doesn't allow online wagers.

BetMGM says betting through its app is available only in five states so far - Colorado, Indiana, West Virginia, New Jersey and Nevada - with more on the way. 

Most major sports leagues now have similar deals. BetMGM is also a partner with Major League Baseball.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.