Las Vegas F1 Race in a Betting Sphere All Its Own

The Las Vegas Grand Prix annoyed locals and casino-goers in the weeks before the race and had season champion Max Verstappen wondering why drivers had to participate in an event he considered “99% show.”

But there were obviously plenty of interested and engaged bettors still paying attention as would-be American television viewers began nodding off before the 1 a.m. EST green flag.

According to BetMGM, the Las Vegas race was the company’s most successful F1 event ever. By three laps.

And at Caesars, the race took the checkers from NASCAR, which has leaned hard into sports betting as a fan-engagement vehicle.

“The Las Vegas Grand Prix was the most bet F1 event in BetMGM’s history. The sportsbook took 3X the number of bets on the race than any previous contest,” said Seamus Magee, Trading Manager, BetMGM.

Roughly 80% of the BetMGM volume came from retail outlets. Nevada remains one of few states where mobile wagering doesn’t dominate.

The story was much the same at Caesars. The Las Vegas Grand Prix is now the highest-handled race the company has ever booked. It tripled the handle of the 2023 Daytona 500, which had been the most bet so far this year.

“We knew it was going to be the biggest, but not by how much,” Caesars Assistant Director of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook, Adam Pullen said. “Overall, people were excited, and bets were flying through with all of the markets we had available on Caesars Sportsbook and William Hill.

“From a retail perspective, the proximity that our sportsbooks in Las Vegas had to the track really helped. In fact, the state of Nevada alone accounted for more than 60% of the total handle on the Las Vegas Grand Prix – that number alone shows you the impact the race had locally.”

Motorsports in general has struggled to generate much betting interest in the United States and an event in the ancestral gambling homeland of the country buried the proverbial needle as races this year in Austin, Texas and Miami couldn’t.

The Las Vegas race had already become the highest-volume F1 event of the season at Caesars by Friday. Caesars posted odds for the Vegas race more than a year ago, and the fact it had already topped Miami’s handle last week suggests copious bets were coming from outside Nevada, too.

Michael Lawton, the senior economic analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board said the impact of the race on Nevada retail and mobile sportsbooks wouldn’t be apparent until the release of the state’s monthly report for November.

Inside the Betting Patterns of the Las Vegas Grand Prix

Some notable figures from BetMGM's F1 weekend:

  • A bettor wagered $200,000 to win $100,000 on Verstappen to win at -200. He did.
  • The most bet props were "Any other driver to win race vs. Verstappen (+160)"; "Charles Leclerc to finish top 3 (-350)"; "Daniel Ricciardo to finish top 10 (+300)"; "Mercedes car to win the race (+1200)."

Verstappen, who clinched another title for Red Bull in October, opened at -350 and closed at -185. Leclerc opened at +2200 and closed at +175. Leclerc, who finished second, drew the highest percentage of tickets (12.0%) as bettors looked for something besides the inevitable. Lewis Hamilton garnered 11.9% and Verstappen 10.5%.

The three-time champion inspired plenty of faith in regards to handle, though at 28.7%. Leclerc (17.1%) and George Russell (13.0%) followed.

DraftKings Had a Grand Grand Prix, Too:

The Grand Prix was the most-bet F1 event by handle and bets in DraftKings history, surpassing the 2021 Belgian GP.

  • One bettor won $6,000 by placing a $200 bet on an Oscar Piastri fastest lap at +3000 odds.
  • Another won $5,714 with a $10,000 win bet on Max Verstappen at -175.
  • Six of the top 10 F1 races by handle at DraftKings were this season: Las Vegas; Bahrain; Miami; Saudi Arabia; Australia; Belgium.
About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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