In pursuit of engaging new audiences, the New Hampshire Lottery has added betting markets on eNASCAR, the simulated racing competition hosted by NASCAR in collaboration with Coca-Cola.
New Hampshire Becomes Latest State to Approve eNASCAR/Esports Betting
The New Hampshire Lottery has become the latest regulator in the United States to embrace eNASCAR as a viable betting market. Recently, Nevada gave the go-ahead to several electronic sports competitions, including Counter-Strike, Overwatch, League of Legends, and Call of Duty among others.
However, the event to draw the largest interest remains eNASCAR. In light of the virtual sport’s growing popularity, the NH Lottery has decided to expand its betting markets. The eNASCAR series was launched back in 2018 creating the iRacing Series in collaboration with Coca-Cola.
The event features 40 sim racers competing in a 20-race schedule with the next race taking place on April 28 at the virtual Dover International Speedway. The latest event was held on Sunday, April 19, at the Richmond Speedway with William Byron becoming the first SIM racer to notch up two titles in virtual NASCAR.
Commenting on recent developments, NH Lottery executive Charlie McIntyre said that the Lottery had been looking for new ways to engage players and attract new audiences. eNASCAR, McIntyre said, represented a significant opportunity for the lottery to expand the number of markets, particularly at a time when most sports around the world have been suspended.
“This new sporting event offers an exciting new opportunity for our players to experience the thrill of winning.”
Nevada Gives Greenlight to ESL One Rio Major Betting
Meanwhile, Nevada has been approaching esports on a per-case basis, allowing individual events and setting specific time-frames on each event. Just over the weekend, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved betting on ESL One Rio Major, a Counter-Strike event.
The board approved three specific wagers, including head to head, match winner, and overall winner. The NGCB has expressed concern that due to the different risk profile of the esports market, Nevada would need to supervise esports.
At the same time, the Control Board reminded bettors and businesses that in-play betting markets are prohibited under the current temporary waiver. Michael Lawton, an analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, recently said in an interview with The Wrap that more businesses have sought to include esports betting:
The approval of more esports betting in the past month is purely operator driven and more requests have been made recently amid suspension of traditional sports events.Michael Lawton, NGCB senior analyst
In light of these developments, more states are likely to begin offering wagers on electronic sports. Some leagues are close to officially canceling their entire seasons. Many have switched to SIM sports, including the NFL, MLB, NHL, and even soccer.