Caesars Sportsbook had already nailed down access to the mobile sports wagering market in Massachusetts, but now it also has an avenue into the soon-to-start retail betting scene.
Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced Monday that it is partnering with the Raynham Park simulcast wagering facility, south of Boston, to offer in-person sports betting in Massachusetts.
“The partnership marks Caesars’ first in-person foray into the Bay State and includes the eventual opening of a 30,000-square-foot Caesars Sportsbook retail location, which will become one of the largest free-standing race and sports wagering facilities in the United States,” the company said in a press release.
Today we are announcing plans to offer in-person sports betting through a partnership with Raynham Park, pending approval by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) January 23, 2023
This partnership includes the eventual opening of a 30,000-square-foot Caesars Sportsbook retail location. pic.twitter.com/Tif6Ssh8hT
Caesars said the partnership would begin with opening a temporary sportsbook inside the existing simulcasting facility at Raynham Park before it shifts to a new building nearby that is under construction.
There is no date yet for the start of in-person wagering at Raynham Park, although the release said the new brick-and-mortar book is scheduled to host a grand opening in the spring. The plan will require approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the release noted.
“Caesars Sportsbook is the strongest retail sports gaming brand in the industry and we are extremely proud to announce our partnership,” Raynham Park owner Chris Carney said in Monday’s release. “Our sportsbook will be one of the largest sports gaming destinations not only in Massachusetts, but in the United States.”
Monday’s news provides more insight into what the legal sports betting environment in Massachusetts will look like. Event wagering will officially start in the Bay State in about a week at three casinos, and Raynham Park and another former live-racing facility, Suffolk Downs, will eventually offer the same in-person wagering opportunities.
The Caesars-Raynham Park partnership also provides the former with a retail presence in the state, which it lacks in Massachusetts. Caesars already has access to the coming market for mobile sports betting in Massachusetts through another partnership with Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor casino.
Encore Boston Harbor is a so-called “Category 1” entity, which entitles the facility to offer in-person sports betting on its property and through two digital platforms that require “Category 3” permits to operate. Caesars is seeking one of those “tethered” licenses, while WynnBET is pursuing the other.
Raynham Park is a “Category 2” entity, the license for which would allow the facility to offer sports betting on the premises and through one digital platform. Bet365 was applying for the “Category 3” license tethered to Raynham Park’s Category 2 permit, but a spokesperson for Raynham Park said Monday that bet365 is no longer their partner for mobile sports betting. Raynham Park does not have a new mobile partner yet, the spokesperson added.
The big picture
Overall, the sports-betting law in Massachusetts and the state’s current gaming infrastructure allow for up to five brick-and-mortar betting facilities at three casinos and two racetracks. As many as eight mobile sports betting licenses can be tethered to those brick-and-mortar facilities. There are also up to seven “untethered” licenses for online sports betting available in Massachusetts, meaning there may be as many as 15 mobile sportsbooks in the state.
“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, in Monday’s press release.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has spent the past months processing the applications for the various sports-betting licenses in the state. Retail sports betting in Massachusetts will begin at the three casinos on January 31, and mobile wagering across the state in early March.
Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs, the two Category 2 racetracks, have said they would not be ready to offer in-person sports betting by January. When exactly in-person wagering will begin at either facility will depend on getting regulatory approval first.
“Once mobile sports wagering launches in Massachusetts, Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham Park will also offer Caesars Sportsbook mobile customers the added convenience of accepting Caesars Sportsbook mobile account cash deposits at the facility,” Monday’s release noted. “The Caesars Racebook app also recently launched for Massachusetts customers, offering a full horse racing wagering menu and livestreaming from racetracks around the world.”
This story has been updated from its original version.