As the (eventual) new owner of Formula 1, one of Liberty Media's top goals is to make the sport more profitable. One idea that's already on the table is expanding F1's American fanbase, hopefully without Americanizing it in the process. But another idea thrown out by Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei is a little less orthodox—gambling.
that on Thursday, Maffei told reporters F1 is missing out on the money being made from sports betting.
"Outside the United States there is a huge gambling opportunity in the sport, none of which we capitalize on," he said. "I think there are a bunch of ways in which digital can play through this . . . that I think will be a part of the future growth."
But while you don't normally think of gambling as something for a sport to organize and directly profit from, his push to better-connect with fans and take advantage of digital opportunities is right on the money.
"Less than 1 percent of the revenues are from digital. They really have no organized digital effort. I think there are lot of things that can be done around gaming, VR [Virtual Reality] and AR [Augmented Reality]," Maffei said.
For current fans, though, the most exciting change coming might be the new cities Liberty's exploring for added races. Speaking on that subject, Maffei said:
The obvious optionality case is to some degree Asia in the short term, potentially Latin America, and longer term North America, and particularly the US, where we really are well under-viewed, under-monetized, under-everything. I don't think that gets solved in a week, but I think that's an interesting long-term opportunity.
In North America, the first two cities he mentioned were Las Vegas and Miami. Considering Maffei wants F1 to get in on gambling, we bet the Las Vegas Grand Prix happens first.