FanDuel to Give Massachusetts Fantasy Fans Access to Horse Racing
Suffolk Downs (l.), a simulcast-only track, will become a wagering provider which will enable FanDuel to market horse racing to a new audience of daily fantasy sports fans. The program, approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, is expected to introduce new fans to horse racing.
When it comes to fantasy sports and sports betting, horse racing can get lost in the new digital wave. At least for one Massachusetts track, that may change.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission gave the green light last week 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 contests to horse racing. Massachusetts is the second state to approve FanDuel for racing, joining California.
Owned by Flutter Entertainment, FanDuel is a sister company of horse racing broadcaster and mobile betting platform operator TVG. Indeed, FanDuel’s home page includes a racebook link that sends visitors directly to TVG.com.
TVG will continue to operate at Suffolk. The commission approved it, Xpressbets, TwinSpires, and NYRA Bets as advanced deposit wagering providers.
In a discussion with commissioners, Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle said the newly approved site will use TVG as its platform, but incorporate FanDuel branding. The FanDuel site, while using TVG data, also will be developed for those more used to using a daily fantasy location.
FanDuel, in a presentation, said offering its own branded racebook provides a solution to problems facing the sport company’s daily fantasy players, Casino.org said. Racing is looking for ways to gain exposure, while DFS players are looking for more opportunities to play. A perfect union.
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 time frame. FanDuel, meanwhile, can leverage its database of 8 million customers—about a 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 daily fantasy 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.
Commissioner Bruce Stebbins said he was “somewhat encouraged” by FanDuel’s decision to market horse racing to a new audience.
Located in East Boston, 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. Encore, located about four miles west of the track, precipitated Suffolk Downs closing five years ago when the commission 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.