Suitability Issues Continue to Cause Delays for Raynham Park Caesars Sportsbook

Posted on: August 3, 2023, 09:19h.

Last updated on: August 3, 2023, 09:19h.

Raynham Park seeks to bring a Caesars Sportsbook to their former greyhound racetrack, pending review and approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

Raynham Park Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts sports betting
Chris (left) and George Carney stand inside their Raynham Park parimutuel off-track betting facility on Sept. 29, 2022. The Carneys want to bring a Caesars Sportsbook to their former greyhound racetrack in Massachusetts. (Image: Boston Herald)

Raynham Park, formerly a live greyhound racetrack, ceased operations on Jan. 1, 2010, following a state referendum that banned dog racing. The facility now operates as an off-track betting business for thoroughbred and harness racing.

However, a recent change in Massachusetts law now prohibits greyhound wagering entirely, regardless of location. To revitalize the racetrack, the Carneys believe a Caesars Sportsbook is the best option.

The Carneys announced their partnership with Caesars Entertainment in January, aiming to bring the renowned casino brand to Raynham Park. The collaboration was made possible through the connection between Chris Carney and Caesars Digital’s chief development officer, Dan Shapiro.

Suitability Setbacks

In June, Raynham Park and Caesars Sportsbook submitted an application for a Category 2 sports wagering license with the MGC. This application requires a nonrefundable fee of $200,000 to cover regulatory costs.

The most crucial aspect of the application review process involves determining the suitability of the major stakeholders. While the results of this suitability assessment are not public, an issue arose concerning the approval of Chris Carney.

As a result, the MGC has postponed the vote on the Raynham Park/Caesars Cat. 2 license multiple times. The applicants now plan to revise the submission by excluding Chris from the operation.

The Carneys assert that Chris will not have any financial interest in the sports betting operation, should it receive authorization. However, MGC officials, including Investigations Enforcement Bureau Director Loretta Lilios, believe Chris still holds a significant connection to the business.

The MGC will revisit the vote on the Raynham Park Caesars Sportsbook application during their meeting on August 18.

Sportsbook Details

Originally, the Carneys aimed to launch the Caesars Sportsbook at Raynham Park in time for the upcoming NFL and college football seasons. However, due to the ongoing MGC delays, this timeline has been surpassed.

Caesars has proposed constructing a separate 60,000 square foot facility adjacent to the former greyhound track. The Carneys would finance this $28 million investment. The facility would accommodate up to 2,000 individuals, including standing room.

Currently, Caesars is already operating an online sportsbook in Massachusetts through its partnership with Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor. The state’s three casinos hold Category 1 sports betting licenses, which allow them to offer in-person sports betting and up to two online platforms.

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