Suffolk Downs Looking To Partner With DK Horse In Massachusetts

Written By Matthew Bain on March 21, 2023Last Updated on March 22, 2023
Suffolk Downs looking to work with DK Horse, DraftKings in Massachusetts, from

Suffolk Downs, one of two horse racing simulcast facilities in Massachusetts, is looking to partner with DraftKings’ horse betting platform, DK Horse, when it launches in May.

That’s according to the Thursday meeting agenda of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The agenda states that commissioners will hear five requests from the racing division. Four requests will come from Plainridge Park Casino, which hosts harness racing at its racetrack.

The fifth request comes from Suffolk Downs:

“Suffolk Downs Request for Approval of DK Horse, LLC as an Account Wagering Provider,” the Thursday agenda reads.

Online horse betting is legal in Massachusetts via providers such as TVG, Twinspires and AmWager.

What DK Horse partnership could mean for sports betting

Presumably, with a MA online sports betting license secured, DraftKings will try to launch DK Horse in Massachusetts, as well. This request from Suffolk Downs suggests as much. It also suggests that, perhaps, if Suffolk Downs chooses to open a retail sportsbook on its premises, it may partner with DraftKings to do so.

In the materials publicly available for Thursday’s meeting, Michael Buckley, the chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs, wrote in an email to Massachusetts’ director of racing that DK Horse is already approved in Oregon, Virginia, Minnesota and Montana. DK Horse would operate using the infrastructure of Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Company (CDTIC). CDTIC operates the TwinSpires app, which has been legal for horse betting in Massachusetts for over a decade.

All indications are that the MGC will approve this request, and DK Horse will be able to launch in Massachusetts.

As a licensed MA horse betting simulcast center, Suffolk Downs can run a retail sportsbook and allow an existing provider to use its online sports betting license. Before it chose not to enter the Massachusetts market, BetRivers was thought to be a likely partner for Suffolk Downs.

Raynham Park, the other simulcast facility in Massachusetts, is planning to open a massive retail Caesars Sportsbook by June. The MGC will begin to review the Raynham Park/Caesars joint application at its March 28 meeting. Raynham Park has not yet partnered with any app for its online license.

Why Suffolk Downs is a prime spot for retail sportsbook

Suffolk Downs, about 8 miles northeast of downtown Boston, is a prime location for a retail sportsbook. February sports betting handle at Encore Boston Harbor, which is 6 miles north of downtown Boston, was nearly $10 million higher than Plainridge Park Casino, which had the second-largest February handle.

Translation: It pays to be in (or near) Boston.

Photo by AP/Elise Amendola
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as Content Manager at Play MA in 2022. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register’s recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet’s high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he’s somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story. Matthew also led coverage of Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 in the California sports betting election battle for Catena Media.

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