KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Thousands of NASCAR fans are heading into town this weekend for a series of races at Kansas Speedway. But the experience will likely be different when NASCAR returns in October.
That’s because Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a sports betting bill into law Thursday. It’s not in effect for races this weekend, but could be a big boost to the sport somewhat struggling in the ratings.
Doug and Betty Norgaard enjoy their fantasy NASCAR league. It’s all for fun, but the South Dakota couple has thought of making a little money on their insights on past trips to Kansas Speedway and Hollywood Casino.
“I went over there to bet and they didn’t have it. Joey Logano, I was going to bet on Joey,” Betty Norgaard said.
But by the next time NASCAR is back in town, race fans should be able to bet on their favorite driver, both at the temporary then permanent sports book Hollywood Casino is building or likely at the track itself.
“You’d need to come here to set up your account but if you didn’t want to be here in person in the retails sports book you could still do it over at NASCAR there will be sponsored kiosk areas that type of stuff and you’ll be able to bet mobile. If you are in Salina,, Kansas if you are in Dodge City you are still a customer.”
Racecar broadcasters have already introduced fans to predicting outcomes with opportunities like FOXBet’s contest to win former driver (and Kansas native) Clint Boyer’s money. Longtime fans hope it will attract even more eyeballs to the screens and people to the tracks.
“We’re the old base but the younger people are not as much into it as we are,” Gary Budd said.
“I think it’s a good thing because it keeps people’s interest. It gives people a reason to keep an eye on what’s going on in the race,” Doug Norgaard said.
Unlike games between two teams, with 40 drivers on the track there will probably always be an 80-1 potential payout like the Kentucky Derby winner.
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