On Friday, Nevada Gaming Control announced that sportsbooks in the state will offer betting on the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. Sunday marked the first time that bettors could place wagers on virtual races.
William Hill will offer eNascar odds in both Nevada and New Jersey for this Sunday's race.
"We're happy to be able to offer eNASCAR and other esports events on our wagering menu during the current sports climate," Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill's U.S. Director of Trading, said. "William Hill was the first sports betting company to post legal esports odds in the U.S. back in 2016 and we're working to offer more games as they are approved. Keep an eye out – we're posting new esports events every day."
The virtual races have become very popular in recent weeks with all live American sports postponed to the coronavirus. William Byron, who opened with 7/1 odds on William Hill, won Sunday's Food City Showdown at virtual Bristol International Speedway. Timmy Hill opened as a 4/1 favorite.
The races feature several former and current NASCAR drivers including Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Denny Hamlin..
"The global interest in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series has ranged far and wide and we continue to recognize the role this series is playing in providing sports fans worldwide with a much needed respite during the most challenging of times," NASCAR managing director of gaming Scott Warfield told ESPN.
Nevada had previously been hesitant to allow betting on esports in recent years, but the coronavirus pandemic has changed the stance of sportsbooks. The iRacing circuit has been very popular since it began being televised and should continue to be while sports are put on pause.