The Las Vegas Grand Prix was a historic event that provided a significant windfall for sportsbooks, despite causing division among locals and facing legal issues. Even as Max Verstappen continued his Formula 1 dominance with his 16th win in 17 races, Caesars Sportsbooks set a new company record for total betting handle on any motorsports event. Similarly, rival entities BetMGM and the local Station Casinos, Westgate SuperBook, and Red Rock Resort reported record handle for an F1 Race.
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. However, one issue that remains a subject of debate is the 10 p.m. local start time of the race – 1 a.m. on the East Coast – which was chosen to minimize disruption to local citizens who had already endured months of headaches due to the extended track construction. Several drivers and team executives are also pushing for an earlier start to aid their own time-zone acclimation traveling from Europe as F1 continues to show growing pains in becoming a truly global sport.
Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur explained this challenge during an interview with ESPN, saying “In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for the European people and we had to stick to European timing, and it was okay.” Now, however, with F1 becoming a worldwide project, it’s much more difficult to find something fitting with the expectations of the 24-hour zone.”