Massachusetts Regulator Delays Racetrack Application Review

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After more than two hours of discussion, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission opted Tuesday to further defer consideration of a wagering application from Raynham Park.

At issue are requests from the Massasoit Greyhound Association (MGA), owner of Raynham Park, to remove Christopher J. Carney and the Christopher J. Carney Subchapter S Trust as qualifiers on the track’s application for a Category 2 wagering license.

The meeting was the third in what has become protracted consideration of Raynham Park’s application. The commission previously met on it June 12 and June 20. The earliest the track could get approval now would be on or about Aug. 18. The commission agreed to push consideration back to to allow the Investigations Enforcement Bureau more time to review new information. The commission also agreed to delay hearing from Raynham Park about its diversity plans.

Raynham Park executives had previously been pointing to a fall opening of the new brick-and-mortar sportsbook, but the additional time for the review could derail those plans.

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of Bay State lawmakers legalizing digital and retail sports betting.

Withdrawal, suitability ‘intertwined’

Investigations Enforcement Bureau head Loretta Lilios, whose last day at the MGC will be Aug. 24, requested the extension, saying that the withdrawals related to Carney should not be considered in “a vacuum.” Lilios said her department received new information from MGA as late as July 24, and that information could affect how the commission considers the association’s financial suitability with regard to licensing.

MGA attorneys repeatedly said that Carney and his trust have no financial interest in the wagering application, though Carney would continue to be involved in the business.

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Regardless of Carney’s financial involvement, commissioners said they agreed with Lilios that the request for withdrawal and the application were “integrally intertwined.” They unanimously approved Eileen O’Brien’s motion to hear and consider the suitability report and withdrawal requests at the same time on a later date.

Raynham Park, which is partnered with Caesars Sportsbook for a retail sportsbook, is the first of two racetracks in Massachusetts to apply for a wagering license. Caesars is already live with its digital platform through a partnership with Encore Boston Harbor.

Suffolk Downs, which has not yet announced a partner, is the other track that is eligible for a license. Raynham Park has not yet announced a digital partner. So far, eight platforms are live in the state. Among them are Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBET, all of which participated in a universal launch March 10.


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