The Las Vegas Grand Prix brought a historic windfall for sportsbooks, despite causing division among locals and facing legal issues. Even as Max Verstappen continued his Formula 1 dominance with his 16th win in 17 races, Caesars Sportsbooks set a new company record for total betting handle on any motorsports event, while rival entities BetMGM and the local Station Casinos, Westgate SuperBook, and Red Rock Resort similarly reported record handle for an F1 Race. “It was three times Daytona’s numbers,” Craig Mucklow, Caesars vice president of trading, told the Las Vegas Review Journal, referencing the high-profile NASCAR event. “It was well over seven figures.” BetMGM said it tripled the number of bets for any prior F1 event during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
However, the 10 p.m. local start time of the race — 1 a.m. on the East Coast — remains a subject of debate among stakeholders and fans alike. Efforts are already in motion to ensure an earlier start time to accommodate both local residents and international drivers and team executives who need to adjust their schedules to travel from Europe. Several drivers and team executives have expressed their support for an earlier start time to aid their own time-zone acclimation traveling from Europe, as F1 continues to show growing pains in becoming a truly global sport.
“In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for the European people, and we had to stick to the European timing,” said Fred Vasseur, Ferrari team principal, to ESPN. “Now it’s a worldwide project, and it’s much more difficult to find something fitting with the expectations of the 24-hour zone.” As such