Caesars Sportsbook has struck a second partnership in Massachusetts for market entry into the state’s forthcoming sports betting industry.
Caesars Entertainment doesn’t operate a casino in Massachusetts. But the Las Vegas-based casino operator wants to bet on Massachusetts’ newly liberalized sports betting industry.
To gain market access, Caesars late last year struck a deal with rival Wynn Resorts and Encore Boston Harbor. The partnership will allow the Caesars Sportsbook to operate online in the commonwealth by utilizing Encore Boston Harbor’s Category 1 sportsbook license.
Category 1 sports wagering concessions allow the state’s three casinos — Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park — to operate a retail sportsbook and up to two online sportsbooks. The Category 1 licenses are also afforded to the state’s horse and greyhound racetracks — Suffolk Downs and Raynham Park.
Caesars Sportsbook will utilize one of Encore Boston’s two online skins, with WynnBet accounting for the other.
But with online sports betting not expected to go live until March, Caesars sought a quicker entry for retail privileges. Caesars found such a partner with Raynham Park.
In-person wagering in Massachusetts at the three casinos is set to begin on Tuesday, January 31.
New Life for Raynham Park
Raynham and Caesars announced a partnership Monday that will allow the casino’s primary sportsbook brand to operate a retail sportsbook at the racetrack, which ceased live greyhound racing more than a decade ago. Raynham has been operating as a simulcast parlor since, with patrons able to place pari-mutuel wagers on televised horse and dog races.
Pending regulatory approval by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), Caesars Sportsbook plans to open a temporary sportsbook inside the current simulcasting facility in the coming weeks. Caesars says the interim sportsbook would operate as a new, 30,000-square-foot standalone sportsbook built on the Raynham Park campus.
The permanent sportsbook would be one of the US’ largest free-standing race and sportsbooks. The venue would cost $28 million to build, with Raynham Park owners George Carney and his son Chris funding the bulk of the project.
The proposed Caesars Sportsbook features a capacity of up to 2,000 people and comes with self-service wagering kiosks and staffed betting windows. Though further details haven’t yet been released, the sports betting project would presumably include the typical amenities, including a video wall, dozens of televisions, and food and beverage service.
Raynham Park is in an excellent location in southeast Massachusetts and will be one of just a few retail sports betting locations in the commonwealth,” said Eric Hession, president of Caesars Digital. “It’s great to partner with the Carney family, which has a long history in the community and an exciting vision for a tremendous sports entertainment and pari-mutuel simulcasting facility.”
Should the MGC approve the Caesars Sportsbook/Raynham Park application, the partnership says the interim facility could be open as early as this spring.
State Adjusts Sportsbook Rules
In related news, the MGC last Friday amended its regulations on sportsbook advertising. The commonwealth previously told its sportsbook licensees that they cannot engage anyone under the age of 21 to help advertise their operations.
But after hearing concerns about a sportsbook’s ability to hire an underage Olympian to market their operations, the MGC reworked those rules. The five commissioners settled on allowing sportsbooks to use the likeness of someone as young as 18 in their marketing campaigns.
Commissioners cited such stars as Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who was just 19 when she won four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
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