Begin your engines and place your bets — Las Vegas is taking motion on digital NASCAR racing.

Nevada Gaming Management on Friday introduced that the state’s sportsbooks may supply betting on the 2020 eNASCAR iRacing Professional Invitational Sequence, starting with this weekend’s occasion from digital Bristol Motor Speedway. It is the primary time Nevada sportsbooks have been allowed to take bets on a digital auto racing occasion.

The races function stars together with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer competing in opposition to different Cup Sequence regulars in addition to drivers from different collection on NASCAR’s iRacing simulation platform.

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The broadcasts of main-event races, similar to Sunday’s Meals Metropolis Showdown (1 p.m. ET, Fox, Fox Sports activities 1) from digital Bristol Motor Speedway, have been a success. In response to Nielsen Sports activities, final weekend’s race from digital Texas Motor Speedway drew a document 1.three million viewers, essentially the most ever for a televised esports occasion.

“Throughout this time of uncertainty, eNASCAR has offered sports activities followers around the globe with an thrilling type of sports activities leisure that’s serving to restore some normalcy to the weekend,” Scott Warfield, NASCAR managing director of gaming, mentioned on NASCAR’s media web site. “Now, courtesy of our companions at Penn Interactive, followers can foster a good deeper reference to the brand new collection and have much more incentive to tune into eNASCAR on Fox and FS1.”

Now the Las Vegas betting market can be extra concerned.

“I would like to have it on the board,” Matt Metcalf, head of Las Vegas sportsbook operator Circa Sports activities, instructed ESPN. “One million viewers final week … individuals are paying consideration.”

Historically, Nevada regulators have been hesitant to permit betting on esports, however have change into extra accepting just lately with sportsbooks scrambling for choices through the coronavirus pandemic. In current days, Nevada Gaming Management additionally accepted wagering on esports Counter-Strike and 2020 ESL One Dota Los Angeles tournaments.

Nevada sportsbooks should notify patrons that the iRacing simulators and gear used within the eNASCAR races would possibly differ barely, and that official guidelines should be posted on the occasion organizer’s or sanctioning physique’s web site.

DraftKings’ sportsbook in West Virginia was the one U.S. sportsbook to supply wagering on final weekend’s eNASCAR occasion.

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