The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) gave the green light Friday for Suffolk Downs to add a new mobile deposit wagering provider, one that seeks to market horse racing to a new audience.
FanDuel will offer a racebook in an attempt to draw players of the sports entertainment technology company’s daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests to horse racing. Massachusetts is the second state to approve FanDuel for racing, joining California. The California Horse Racing Board gave its OK at its Nov. 21 meeting.
Owned by Flutter Entertainment, FanDuel is a sister company of horse racing broadcaster and mobile betting platform operator TVG. In fact, FanDuel’s home page include a racebook link that sends visitors directly to TVG.com.
TVG will continue to operate at Suffolk as well as the MGC approved it, Xpressbets, TwinSpires, and NYRA Bets as approved advanced deposit wagering providers.
TVG Platform with FanDuel Feel
In a discussion with commissioners, Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle explained that the newly approved site will use TVG as its platform but incorporate FanDuel branding for its site. The FanDuel site, while using TVG data, also will be developed for those more used to using a DFS site.
FanDuel, in a presentation, said offering its own branded racebook provides a solution to problems facing the sport of horse racing and the company’s daily fantasy players. Racing, the company said, is looking for ways to gain exposure while DFS players are looking for more opportunities to play.
With thoroughbred and harness races scheduled nationally and abroad nearly every five minutes, it allows people to stay engaged and bet on multiple races in a short timeframe.
FanDuel, meanwhile, can leverage its database of 8 million customers – about 1 million of which are active – and market a new gaming opportunity to them. The company’s research shows that less than 5 percent of its DFS players are active on TVG.
I think the idea was those customers want to stay under the brand as opposed to introduce a new brand that they may not have heard of or understand,” Tuttle said.
FanDuel will not allow customers who have active TVG accounts to set up one on its site or vice versa.
Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said he was “somewhat encouraged” by FanDuel’s decision to market horse racing to a new audience.
About Suffolk Downs
Located in East Boston roughly two miles north of Logan International Airport, Suffolk Downs was the region’s home to live thoroughbred racing for nearly 85 years.
That ended in June, when the track held its last racing meet. The final week of that meet coincided with the grand opening of Wynn Resort’s Encore Boston Harbor. The $2.6 billion integrated resort casino offers 3,100 slot machines and 144 table games.
Encore, located about four miles west of the track, precipitated Suffolk Downs closing five years ago when the MGC chose Wynn for the Boston-area casino instead of a Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment proposal that would have been built at the track and guaranteed racing continued for 15 years.
Simulcasting is available at Suffolk Downs five days a week throughout the year.