The review of Raynham Park‘s Category 2 sports betting license application to have a retail Caesars Sportsbook at its property has begun.
The proposed Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham Park would be the largest free-standing sportsbook in the United States. It would be the latest addition to the growing Massachusetts sports betting market.
Here is a closer look at some of the details surrounding the project.
Retail Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham Park
On Monday, Raynham Park and Caesars presented to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission a detailed plan for the facility they hope will revitalize the former Massachusetts horse racing track. All in all, the retail sportsbook at Raynahm Park will have a little bit of everything.
The construction plan calls for the redevelopment of 90 acres, to make it the only retail sportsbook in southeast Massachusetts.
The 60,000 square-foot venue would have 400 TV screens, including four giant video walls ranging from 40 to 63 feet wide. A full-service restaurant, conference room and event hosting venue would also be in the plan.
The new sportsbook would feature 30,000 square feet of public sports wagering space. The retail sportsbook would have as many as five betting windows and 10 betting kiosks.
The retail sportsbook would be operated by Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts, but licensed through Raynham Park, if it gains approval from the MGC. It is slated to open by NFL kickoff in September.
The Massasoit Greyhound Association, which owns Raynham Park, is applying for a Category 2 sports wagering operator license. In addition to retail betting, customers at the Caesars Sportsbook location would have access to the features Caesars consumers have come to know via the mobile sportsbook app. These include access to live betting, in-game highlights, parlays and odds boosts.
In addition, Eric Hession of Caesars explained that the Caesars Rewards loyalty program will be at the center of much of the on-site signage and advertising. Consumers will be encouraged to download the Caesars app to enable the company to offer the best cross-platform experience. More than 65 million people have enrolled in the Caesars Rewards program, according to the company.
The proposed Caesars retail sportsbook would offer sports betting and pari-mutuel horse racing in an effort to rekindle the successful era of Raynham Park. In 1989, Raynham Park handled more than $240 million in bets.
Members from the MGC visited the site last week before beginning their review of the application on Monday.
Impact on Raynham Park business
Caesars is the largest retail sportsbook operator in the country, with 190 sportsbooks across 25 jurisdictions. The company also operates retail sportsbooks in Puerto Rico and Ontario. The Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham Park will follow the same operations model as other horse racetrack Caesars Sportsbooks across the US, including New Jersey’s Monmouth Park.
In Massachusetts, Caesars believes there are as many as 5.4 million potential customers within 50 miles of the site. Raynham Park is located only 35 miles from Boston, and 56 miles from Worcester.
In terms of employees, Caesars projects it would need to hire 12 full-time employees for the retail sportsbook. Raynham Park would add as many as 40 surveillance/security staff. The new sportsbook would double the Raynham workforce.
The facility will adopt Caesars’ “Think 30” policy, which means anyone who looks under the age of 30 will be asked to supply an ID. Only patrons at least 21 years of age would be allowed to enter the facility.
The MGC was guided through a presentation by Caesars and Raynham Park for more than an hour on Monday. It will vote on the proposal at a future date. It’s also possible the commission will host a public meeting to solicit comment.
Raynham Park history
Raynham Park is a family-owned business that is still operated by the Carney family. George Carney Jr. and his son Chris, who represents the third generation to lead the facility, are hoping to forge ahead into a new era of sports betting at the historic site.
It opened in 1940, and for a number of years it was the highest-grossing race track in New England.
Raynham no longer hosts greyhound dog racing, since a statewide ballot initiative prohibited that activity more than a decade ago. It currently offers a simulcast betting parlor for horse racing.
Developers noted the history that Raynham Park has had with the Massachusetts Lottery. At one point, Raynham was the No. 1 retailer for Mass Lottery tickets. A new retail sports betting space would include a partnership with the Commonwealth’s popular lottery program.