The Las Vegas Grand Prix shows great ‘handling’

November 21, 2023

While some drivers took home trophies, some sportsbooks took in record wagers.

The first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas since the 1980s has produced record betting handles in Sin City for sportsbooks like Caesars, BetMGM, Station Casinos and the Westgate SuperBook. Bettors were wagering higher than they had on any previous F1 race in the calendar.

The most blistering wager was made by one lucky BetMGM bettor who placed $200,000 on Max Verstappen to win the Saturday night race – and won $100,000 when the Dutchman won his 18th race out of 21 this F1 season.

BetMGM Trading Manager, Seamus Magee, said, “The Las Vegas Grand Prix was the most bet F1 event in BetMGM’s history. The sportsbook took three times the number of bets on the race than any previous contest.” I’m sure MGM also said congratulations to its $100,000 winner...

The sportsbook had given Verstappen -350 odds to win the race originally, but closed the odds at -185. Second-place driver Charles Leclerc’s odds opened at 22-1 and closed at +175.

Red Rock Resort Sportsbook Director Chuck Esposito said, “We did well to it overall, especially with Verstappen and Leclerc finishing 1-2. We saw a lot more action on drivers with longer odds just because of the value in 200-1 and 300-1 odds.”

While Esposito also mentioned that the ‘hype’ surrounding the race managed to help get the event’s handle over a record finish line, Caesars’ VP of Trading, Craig Mucklow, compared the race to a NASCAR event that also generates plenty of hype, but didn’t bring quite as much handle, saying, “It was three times Daytona’s numbers. It was well over seven figures.”

The highest bets with Caesars were with Verstappen, but the Westgate SuperBook also wanted the Dutchman to win. SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said, “Nobody really wanted to play the favorite or lay the price on the favorite. Once the race started, we really needed Max to win and he did, once again.”

If there was any doubt that the Formula 1 race wouldn’t gain traction in Las Vegas, it’s clear now that bettors have put the event in pole position within the gambling industry for 2024.


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