Posted on: November 21, 2023, 07:00h.
Last updated on: November 21, 2023, 03:30h.
Last Saturday’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix was the most bet on Formula One (F1) race in the history of BetMGM.
The race was won by Dutchman Max Verstappen — the three-time defending champion of the series. Verstappen generated the largest individual wager at BetMGM as one bettor plunked down $200,000 to win $100,000 on the dominant driver. The gaming company didn’t say if that bet was place on online or at one of the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at casinos operated by MGM Resorts International on the Las Vegas Strip. BetMGM is half-owned by MGM, with the other 50% controlled by UK-based gaming giant Entain Plc.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix was the most bet F1 event in BetMGM’s history. The sportsbook took 3X the number of bets on the race than any previous contest,” said BetMGM trading manager Seamus Magee in a statement.
Verstappen clearly made for a tempting bet to win F1’s first Las Vegas race in four decades, but patient bettors could have gotten superior odds on the driver. He opened at -385 (bet $385 to win $100) to win, but that was shortened to -185 at the start of the race.
Verstappen Claimed Biggest Percentage of BetMGM Handle
Leading up to the race, BetMGM expected it’d be the most wagered on formula racing event in the operator’s history. Not surprisingly, much of the action was on Verstappen.
He claimed 28.7% of the handle at BetMGM followed by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc at 17.1%. Leclerc finished second in the race. Mercedes driver George Russell, who finished eighth, claimed 13.1% of the handle at BetMGM.
The highest percentage of bet tickets on the race at BetMGM went to Leclerc at 12%. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished seventh, was next at 11.9%. Verstappen was third by that metric at 10.5%.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix appears to have been profitable for BetMGM in the prop bet market as the four most wagered props at the sportsbook operator were any other driver besides Verstappen to win, Leclerc to finish in the top three, Daniel Ricciardo to place in the top 10 and a Mercedes driver to win. Of those four wagers, only the Leclerc prop paid off for bettors.
Similar Theme Seen Across Las Vegas
BetMGM wasn’t the only sportsbook to draw significant action on the Las Vegas F1 event. Sportsbook operated by Red Rock Resorts’ Station Casinos and the Westgate SuperBook also noted their handles for an F1 race topped previous records.
Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading at Caesars, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Las Vegas Grand Prix did triple the numbers of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 — that series’ biggest race.
Due to the short odds on Verstappen, the event was likely a winner for sportsbooks as bettors sought out more value or longer odds on other drivers.