Carey defends betting deal

The recent announcement that F1 has entered a partnership with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) and Sportradar to enable live betting during races, raised eyebrows for a number of reasons.

On the one hand some are concerned that betting has already tainted a number of other sports, while on the other there are fears that another sport on which to gamble – in real time – will see more poor souls head down the potential path of financial ruin as they attempt to beat the odds.

And then there’s situations like Sochi, where race leader Valtteri Bottas is ordered to move aside for his teammate.

What are the odds on that happening?

Nonetheless, speaking at an investor conference, Chase Carey defended the deal.

“I think it is clear that fans enjoy betting,” he said. “It makes it more interesting. It makes it more exciting.

“As an American I look in some ways at fantasy football which is a great enhancement to the NFL as a form of fun betting,” he continued. “I think that type of engagement in a sport widens its appeal to others, makes the experience better and obviously has business opportunities for us.

“It has both a sponsorship element and providing probably a more expanded and interesting set of opportunities to engage with the sport…

“Betting on the sport is not new but I think we can provide new and interesting ways,” he insisted.

“We want to make sure it’s done in a healthy way,” he added, “we want to make sure it’s done with proper integrity tools around it. We have to make sure we have integrity and disciplines around to make sure that with anything one bets on there is proper oversight, and it’s properly policed and maintained.”

When asked if it was a straightforward sponsorship deal, or the sort of revenue-sharing agreement beloved of some internet companies, he replied: “We are not in the betting business. We are more engaged with opportunities to bet and promoting the betting aspect of it, but we’re not in the gambling or betting business.”