Solosky: NASCAR Taking Steps To Court Younger Fans, Protect Integrity As Sports Betting Grows

Solosky: NASCAR Taking Steps To Court Younger Fans, Protect Integrity As Sports Betting Grows
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

This is the second of a two-part series based on a interview with Joe Solosky, the director of sports betting for NASCAR. The first piece can be found here.

In the interview, Solosky shared his thoughts about the impact sports betting will have on the state of North Carolina and stock car racing. 

That not only included how fans may be able to wager on racing but NASCAR’s potential market share in North Carolina sports betting and the steps the sanctioning body is taking to protect the integrity of its events.

Statewide online sports wagering is set to begin at noon Monday. Eight operators have been approved to take bets at that time, including DraftKings – NASCAR’s partner in the state. Learn how to bet on NASCAR with

The following are excerpts from that conversation that have been edited for brevity.

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Q&A With NASCAR's Joe Solosky (Part 2)

Q: How much is sports betting helping to draw new fans to the sport?

JS: “This is the million-dollar question I think all leagues are having a hard time actually quantifying. Theoretically, it makes sense that because sports betting is legal, people are going to more games, buying more merchandise, tuning in for longer, tuning in to even begin with or watching an event that they otherwise wouldn't have watched. 

We haven't kind of cracked the nut, and I don't think any league has right now in terms of making a direct correlation. We are looking at a couple of different research and analytics firms and also working with our research and analytics team internally at NASCAR about really trying to find that true correlation because theoretically, it makes sense.”

Q: I’ve seen data showing the average age of a NASCAR fan is 58. Sports betting tends to skew younger than that. It would seem like there’s an opportunity, but at the same time, if fewer younger people are watching, is it harder to get them engaged with the sport?

JS: “That goes to kind of the overall strategy of what NASCAR is doing and trying to bring in new fans right with our diverse ownership, with racing at different tracks, racing in new cities, and our Netflix series. All of that is done not with the intent of growing sports betting, but it will have a trickle-down effect that leads to the growth of sports betting. People are tuning into NASCAR because they watched “Full Speed” on Netflix. There's going to be a certain percentage of those folks who start wagering on it.”

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Q: What is NASCAR doing to make sure that the integrity of its races is being protected, and that people who are wagering know that they're able to wager on something that is a safe sport to bet on?

JS: “This is a topic that that keeps me up at night. We do a ton to educate our drivers. I understand that people who don't know the difference between an offshore book and a regulated sportsbook in the U.S. necessarily. That means being a gatekeeper and working with other divisions like our competition team when a sponsorship request comes in from an offshore book, we can quickly say in a good justification, we're not going to do a partnership in the offshore space. Here's a list of the legal sportsbook operators, we're happy to make that introduction. That's one way I've inserted myself in collaboration with some of the other divisions.

“Also, there’s an education aspect. Not only to our drivers but pit crew, owners, anyone who's part of the competition. Last year, we had an in-person session with our integrity services provider, Sportradar, that talked about specifically the vulnerabilities of match fixing. In the sport of NASCAR, given the access that our fans have, we plan on doing that every other year with our drivers and team owners. 

“I have meetings regularly with team presidents and teams generally about sponsorships and also about trends of what's going on in the industry.

“Ahead of March 11, and the launch, we have a strategic communication plan that will go out to employees. We want our employees to follow the same policy, and we want everyone to know who the licensed sportsbooks are in each state. A lot of these things are done innocently, but we want to make sure that we were ahead of anything that may happen, especially with almost all of our employees living in either North Carolina or Florida, which are newly legal.

“Lastly, we also have a partnership on the road-to-recovery side. If someone comes to us and says that they have a problem gambling issue, we have a group that we're partnered with now that handles those kinds of behavioral issues specifically.”

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Steve Bittenbender
Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. <br> <br> Steve’s been featured in Axios, Queen City News, 97.9 The Hill, WNCT, CBS 17, WWAY, Spectrum News and several other news outlets across the Tar Heel State. He’s interviewed influential leaders in sports, {{anchor("gaming"," - News - Filtered",44394,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and politics. Over the past year, he’s covered the legalization of statewide {{anchor("North Carolina sports betting"," - Homepage","","","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} as well as the discussion about approving commercial casinos. <br> <br> Back in August, Steve first reported that {{anchor("a March launch"," - News - Filtered",39792,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} was most likely for North Carolina sports betting. <br> <br> Steve has broken news about {{anchor("what North Carolina sports betting apps will be available"," - News - Filtered",48516,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}, and {{anchor("the state's launch"," - News - Filtered",45236,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. He has also covered {{anchor("how North Carolina college athletics programs stand to benefit from it"," - News - Filtered",38021,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and {{anchor("changes made to the sports betting law in the state budget"," - News - Filtered",40726,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. <br> <br> A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years, an era that has seen sports betting proliferate across the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling overturning PASPA. <br> <br> You can also find Steve providing news updates and insights on his X account @BittGDCG.

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