MINUTIAE

NASCAR track operator SMI partners with lottery firm to offer live gambling on races

BY: JOE MARUSAK

The owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway and other NASCAR tracks is partnering with a lottery firm to one day bring a lottery game based on live auto races to the North American market for the first time.

Speedway Motorsports Inc. and EquiLottery Games announced plans Thursday for Car Cash, a three number lottery draw game based on the results of live auto racing.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting, allowing states to legalize the practice, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

The companies are not ready to announce a timetable for when they hope to introduce the game in states where SMI subsidiaries own and operate tracks, EquiLottery Games spokesman Brad Cummings told The Charlotte Observer in a phone interview. Those states include North Carolina, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Texas.

The companies also plan to consider other states with large auto racing fan bases, although the companies have not divulged the names of those states.

Car Cash players would buy a $5 “quick pick” ticket at participating retailers, through the same terminal where they buy Powerball and other lottery tickets, according to a joint news release Thursday by SMI and EquiLottery Games.

The ticket would feature three randomly selected entries for an upcoming race, according to the release. Winners would be determined by the results of the race, with an estimated top prize of $50,000, officials said.

EquiLottery Games recently announced a three-month trial of the game based on the results of live horse racing through the Kentucky Lottery. Called Win Place Show, the 3-month trial is scheduled to launch on March 31 at 45 retailers, according to Thursday’s news release.

It took EquiLottery Games four years to reach the point of a trial run for Win Place Show, Cummings told the Observer. The period is expected to be far shorter for introducing the auto racing game, since it will be patterned after same game, Cummings said.

“This will be the first daily lottery game based on a live sport in the history of U.S. lotteries,” Cummings said.

SMI has “closely followed what EquiLottery Games has accomplished in the lottery industry and the unprecedented opportunity they are delivering for the sport of horse racing,” Mike Burch, SMI chief strategy officer, said in Thursday’s news release. “So when they approached us about using this platform for auto racing, we were excited by the possibilities for our sport as well.”