Don’t Ruin Your 4th with Illegal Bets on the 400
What do barbecue, the beach, and fireworks have in common? They’re all part of the way Floridians celebrate Independence Day! Not to mention, all three of these come with their own set of safety warnings.
Daytona Beach also has a tradition for the holiday weekend that started in the summer of 1959. Originally dubbed the Firecracker 250, the Coke® Zero Sugar 400 is the second major stock car cup series race of the year in the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” following the famed DAYTONA 500® that kicks off the season. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR®) fittingly has its headquarters in Daytona Beach as well, and the Daytona International Speedway is a landmark that cannot be missed.
This year’s Coke® Zero Sugar 400 takes place on Saturday, July 6, 2019. Will you be watching?
The Wheels are Turning on Sports Betting
Although sports betting has not been legalized in Florida, betting on stock car racing is in the fast lane elsewhere. Dover International Speedway in Delaware introduced a betting kiosk in October 2018 and became the first racetrack to allow visitors to gamble on site. Delaware passed legislation to allow sports betting less than one month after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in May of last year.
In partnership with Sportradar Integrity Services, NASCAR® developed its policy for gambling on races in order to prevent associated cheating, which it put in place for the 2019 season. The policy includes a ban on betting for drivers and team members. This past May, NASCAR® announced that it is teaming up with Genius Sports to create a live betting platform for sportsbooks. NASCAR® also operates its own fantasy game website.
The wheels are turning on sports betting, and so too must the wheels on problem gambling treatment and prevention. While gambling is a safe recreational activity for most, those who suffer from “gambling disorder” experience a wide range of devastating effects that go far beyond an empty wallet. Gambling addiction is associated with divorce, domestic abuse, child neglect, crime, and suicidal ideation and attempts, to name a few.
Take note that it is not always easy to tell when someone in recovery for problem gambling may be in the room. Problem gambling is also known as the hidden addiction, since those who are suffering do not show physical symptoms common in cases of substance abuse. Even starting a friendly betting pool for next Saturday’s race presents a host of triggers and poses a significant risk of relapse to these individuals.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with problem gambling, call Florida’s 24-7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine at 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848). The HelpLine offers a wide range of resources to help individuals understand disordered gambling and be able to recognize the warning signs, while providing referrals to support groups and licensed treatment providers for those in need.
 “NASCAR Set to Implement Gambling Regulations in 2019.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, The Associated Press, 7 Oct. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/sports/NASCAR/2018/10/07/NASCAR-set-to-implement-gambling-regulations-in-2019/38081241/.
 “Place Your Bets: NASCAR Pushes Its Chips on Sports Gambling.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, The Associated Press, 13 Feb. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/sports/NASCAR®/2019/02/12/place-your-bets-NASCAR-pushes-its-chips-on-sports-gambling/39045969/.