Suffolk Downs, one of two horse racing simulcast facilities in Massachusetts, is looking to partner with DraftKings’ horse betting platform, DK Horse, when it launches in May.
That’s according to the Thursday meeting agenda of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The agenda states that commissioners will hear five requests from the racing division. Four requests will come from Plainridge Park Casino, which hosts harness racing at its racetrack.
The fifth request comes from Suffolk Downs:
“Suffolk Downs Request for Approval of DK Horse, LLC as an Account Wagering Provider,” the Thursday agenda reads.
Online horse betting is legal in Massachusetts via providers such as TVG, Twinspires and AmWager.
What DK Horse partnership could mean for sports betting
Presumably, with a MA online sports betting license secured, DraftKings will try to launch DK Horse in Massachusetts, as well. This request from Suffolk Downs suggests as much. It also suggests that, perhaps, if Suffolk Downs chooses to open a retail sportsbook on its premises, it may partner with DraftKings to do so.
In the materials publicly available for Thursday’s meeting, Michael Buckley, the chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs, wrote in an email to Massachusetts’ director of racing that DK Horse is already approved in Oregon, Virginia, Minnesota and Montana. DK Horse would operate using the infrastructure of Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Company (CDTIC). CDTIC operates the TwinSpires app, which has been legal for horse betting in Massachusetts for over a decade.
All indications are that the MGC will approve this request, and DK Horse will be able to launch in Massachusetts.
As a licensed MA horse betting simulcast center, Suffolk Downs can run a retail sportsbook and allow an existing provider to use its online sports betting license. Before it chose not to enter the Massachusetts market, BetRivers was thought to be a likely partner for Suffolk Downs.
Raynham Park, the other simulcast facility in Massachusetts, is planning to open a massive retail Caesars Sportsbook by June. The MGC will begin to review the Raynham Park/Caesars joint application at its March 28 meeting. Raynham Park has not yet partnered with any app for its online license.
Why Suffolk Downs is a prime spot for retail sportsbook
Suffolk Downs, about 8 miles northeast of downtown Boston, is a prime location for a retail sportsbook. February sports betting handle at Encore Boston Harbor, which is 6 miles north of downtown Boston, was nearly $10 million higher than Plainridge Park Casino, which had the second-largest February handle.
Translation: It pays to be in (or near) Boston.