At a meeting this week of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, UK-based sports betting operator bet365 announced it will not seek to offer Massachusetts sports betting as an online partner of Raynham Park.
That decision follows the news last week that Raynham forged a deal with Caesars Sportsbook to offer in-person sports betting.
Massachusetts will launch retail sports betting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31, making the state the latest to offer legal sports wagering as the US sees rapid growth in the industry. Experts project Massachusetts could expect as much as $400 million in total handle this year. Online sports betting is expected to launch in March.
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Bet365 Decision Comes After Caesars Partnership
Bet365’s agreement with Raynham Park, reached last November, would have been for an online sports betting app. The bet365 sportsbook, popular in Europe, is available in Colorado, New Jersey, and Ohio, which launched on New Year’s Day in 2023.
Under state law, both Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs, the state’s two horse racing simulcast facilities, can apply for sports betting licenses that permit in-person wagering and online sportsbooks. Though an online sportsbook deal fell through with bet365, the owners of Raynham leapt at the chance to work with an even bigger name in US gaming earlier this week.
“Caesars Sportsbook is the strongest retail sports gaming brand in the industry and we are extremely proud to announce our partnership,” said Chris Carney, one of the owners of Raynham Park, in a statement announcing the partnership.
The timing of bet365’s exit from an online sports gaming deal with Raynham, coming on the heels of a Caesars/Raynham retail sports betting partnership, could signal cold feet by the company that hails from the United Kingdom.
It’s expected that a retail Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts will be open at Raynham Park some time in 2023.
Caesars Sportsbook has a Category 2 tethered online license agreement with Encore Boston Harbor. It will not be seeking such a deal with Raynham.
The temporary Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham will be on-site at 1958 Broadway Avenue in Raynham. That’s about 35 miles south of Boston, and east of Providence. A statement reveals that Caesars intends to eventually have a more robust, permanent 30,000-square-foot sportsbook at Raynham in the future. Owners of Raynham hope that the sportsbook will entice visitors from Rhode Island, as well as upstate Massachusetts.