This Monday, representatives of Caesars Sportsbook and the Massasoit Greyhound Association informed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that the Raynham Park land-based sportsbook is to open before the beginning of the National Football League’s regular season, which is scheduled to kick off on September 7. Raynham Park is now pending approval from the state regulator to run retail and online sports betting platforms.
Under the Massachusetts sports betting law, horse-racing tracks and simulcast wagering facilities can apply for a sports betting license. The new Raynham Park Sportsbook is being built close to the former racetrack and will occupy 13 acres of land. Since 2009, when the last greyhound race took place, Raynham Park has operated as a simulcast-only betting parlor.
Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs are the only facilities in the Bay State that meet all criteria for a Category 2 license, which allows establishments that conduct live horse racing or simulcast wagering on horse or greyhound racing to accept in-person wagers on sports. Raynham Park must obtain a Category 3 license to provide statewide mobile sports betting services on its own. Meanwhile, the track can join forces with a licensed partner that would offer betting services on its behalf.
Raynham Park works closely with Caesars Sportsbook for its land-based sports betting operations. The Raynham Park sportsbook will offer five or more counters and 20 self-service sports betting kiosks. According to Raynham Park’s application, the wagering area will include first-class audio-visual equipment and a special seating area, allowing bettors to keep track of the latest game odds.
Only Massachusetts’ Three Commercial Casinos are Licensed to Offer Retail Sports Betting Services
The main distinction between the sportsbook licenses sought by Raynham Park and Massachusetts casino is that the racing facility must make a capital investment of at least $7.5 million within three years of obtaining its permit. The simulcast operator forecasts that spending on its new pari-mutuel race and sportsbook product will surpass $7.5 million within the first half a year of obtaining a license.
Since Caesars has already acquired a license from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission thanks to its partnership with Encore Boston Harbor. Now the company plans to use its retail operation at Raynham Park to boost its mobile business. The Raynham Park application states that a big percentage of the handle is generated through online/mobile sports betting, but the social aspect of in-person wagering also attracts many punters’ attention.
According to figures published by the state regulator, Massachusetts’ three casinos licensed to offer retail sports betting services, Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park, generated $13 million in total sports betting handle this April. Massachusetts online sportsbooks had a handle of over $566 million, of which Caesars was responsible for $19.4 million. That figure will change if Raynham Park receives approval from the regulator to offer retail and online sports betting services.