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Mass. OK's Suffolk Downs betting plan with FanDuel - The Boston Globe

6th December, 00:18

Though live racing ended at the track on the Boston-Revere border this year, Suffolk Downs still has services for customers to place remote wagers on races happening elsewhere. The track offers simulcasting of races, and it has an online business in "advance deposit wagering."

It's now pursuing plans to resume racing in Great Barrington, which is among several horse racing-related proposals that need the approval of the state Legislature.

FanDuel, which has also become a leading sports wagering company in some states where that practice is legal, will be piggybacking on Suffolk Downs' existing online business.

The daily fantasy sports operator is owned by Flutter Entertainment, a European sports betting conglomerate that also owns TVG, which has previously run such online services though Suffolk Downs.

Suffolk Downs told the gaming commission that the FanDuel program could help sell bets on racing to a new clientele. Daily fantasy sports players pay money to compete in contests where they can win cash prizes based on the performance of athletes they select.

The program starts in January.

But it will begin as the horse racing industry operates under a cloud of uncertainty. The legislative authorizations for wagering on horse races expire Jan. 15, at the end of a temporary extension state lawmakers approved last year.

Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, told the commission that he expects the Legislature will approve another temporary measure, then debate the future of horse racing as part of a broader discussion about sports betting.

Members of the commission said during a discussion that they hope legislators act expeditiously to remove the question marks around the industry. While Suffolk Downs is not operating races, Plainridge Park Casino will still run harness races in warmer weather.

The tracks also need state legislative permission extended for simulcasts. Gaming commission chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein noted during the meeting that the revenues from simulcasting can help support the horse racing industry.