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Caesars Pulls Out of Deal to Operate Massachusetts Retail Sportsbook

Written by: Michael Savio
Published August 23, 2023
6 min read
Caesars Massachusetts Retail Sportsbook

Massachusetts' fourth retail sportsbook is now on hold after news that Caesars ended its partnership with Raynham Park last week. The sports betting giant had partnered with the Massasoit Greyhound Association (MGA) to operate a new sportsbook at Raynham Park, but poor planning led to increased scrutiny from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The MGC had concerns about the plans for the new sportsbook, which caused delays and ultimately led to Ceasers’ decision to end the partnership.

Caesars' decision to pull out of the deal means that the MGA is without an operator partner, which the MGC requires to qualify for a license. The MGA is currently appealing to the Commission, asking them to grant a provisional license until they can find a new partner. It will be up to the MGC to either make an exception to grant the request, or reject the application and force the MGA to start from scratch. 

“We do recognize that the operating agreement provides a gap, right, and we’re saying we can and expect to put that back together. And we don’t want the commission to do anything more but give us this conditional approval — which it can do — based on that actually occurring,” MGA attorney Jed Nosal said. “So if it never occurred… if we couldn’t come back to you with an operating agreement, we’d be done. We wouldn’t ever be able to meet that [financial] suitability requirement. So we expect that that is a necessity, I think, as you do. And we expect that we would only be able to move forward, in fact, if we got that piece put back in place.”

If the sportsbook had launched as planned, it would have become the largest freestanding sportsbook in the US.

MGA Scores Small Win

The loss of the Caesars partnership was significant, but MGA did get a small win. The MGC said they would allow them to remove Christopher J. Carney from their application. The Carney family has owned Raynham Park for years, but they have handed over operations to the MGA. Carney’s involvement caused some concern for the MGC and the Massachusetts Investigations Enforcement Bureau, who had questions about the role of the Carney family in the operation of the sportsbook. Removing their name from the application could help it get approved once a new partner is found.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

423 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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