The Las Vegas Grand Prix, despite the controversy and legal issues it faced, proved to be a historic windfall for sportsbooks. Max Verstappen’s 16th win in 17 races added to the excitement, with Caesars Sportsbooks setting a new company record for total betting handle on any motorsports event. Rival entities BetMGM and the local Station Casinos, Westgate SuperBook, and Red Rock Resort also reported record handle for an F1 Race.
“It was three times Daytona’s numbers,” said Craig Mucklow, Caesars vice president of trading, referencing the high-profile NASCAR event. “It was well over seven figures.” BetMGM 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 debate continues over the 10 p.m. local start time of the race, which was chosen to minimize disruption to local citizens who had already endured months of headaches due to track construction. However, several drivers and team executives are pushing for an earlier start to aid their own time-zone acclimation while traveling from Europe. As F1 continues to grow globally, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a timing that fits with all expectations in a 24-hour zone. “In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for European people,” said Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur 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.”