Suffolk Downs looks to attract new clientele in January as Mass. Gaming Commission OKs online wagering deal with FanDuel

by Administrator

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved a proposal Thursday by the former thoroughbred horse track Suffolk Downs allowing online sports betting provider FanDuel to offer mobile wagering services to customers in the state .

The proposal was approved unanimously by the commission, according to a broadcast of its Thursday meeting.

Online sports betting has been an issue debated by Massachusetts lawmakers since the Supreme Court overturned a federal prohibition of the practice in 2018. Suffolk Downs, which had its last live race earlier this year, has processed online bets for years, though.

Suffolk Downs currently offers simulcasting of races outside Massachusetts and online “advance deposit wagering," The Boston Globe reported. The race track’s chief operating officer, Chip Tuttle, said the company’s deal with FanDuel will hopefully attract a new clientele.

“I’m somewhat encouraged by what FanDuel is trying to do or positioned for the players in terms of introducing new folks to horse racing and race betting,” said Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins.

The company that operated horse racing at Suffolk Downs, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC, announced last summer it would be leasing and refurbishing a race track in Great Barrington for live racing while operating simulcast wagering at its East Boston facility.

Horse racing in Massachusetts faces uncertainty, though, as legislative authorizations for wagering on the sport expire Jan. 15, according to the Globe’s report.