Greyhound track Raynham Park has again been rebutted in its approach for a Category 2 Massachusetts sports betting license.
The decision came from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after a seven hour meeting earlier in the week. Until the Massasoit Greyhound Association (owner of Raynham Park) can stand before the Commission with a sports betting operator partnership for its retail sportsbook, the chances of licensing are non-existent. The hearing for the license will be put on hold until Raynham Park fulfills the obligation.
The Boston Herald reports the MGC took particular issue with Raynham Park’s ownership structure and potential conflicts of business interest. The owner, according to lawyers on behalf of Raynham is George Carney, Jr. It’s the interest of George’s son Chris which gave the commission concern.
The Herald states “lawyers for the company spent most of their time during the six-hour meeting with commissioners trying to convince them that Chris Carney had no say in the business or sway with his father’s decision-making”, despite Chris having other business interests working within Raynham Park.
Eventually, the lawyers did achieve a small ‘victory’ in having Chris Carney’s name removed from the license application. The company line stating there was nothing legal tying him to the company was enough to have the MGC remove him from the application by a vote of 4-1.
Commissioner O’Brien said: “Chris Carney is signing formal documentations to public bodies representing MGA and the MGA was totally fine with that. If this body, or any other adjudicatory body, was restricted to paperwork, I shudder to think what suitability analyses would look like if you couldn’t look at the actual facts on the ground. We are tasked with looking at the facts in front of us, not a tortured analysis of corporate law that tries to hamper this commission.”
In January just weeks before MA sports betting launch, Raynham Park announced a deal with Caesars Sportsbook that was supposed to see the partnership open a 30-000-square-foot retail sportsbook. The company had previously agreed to partner with bet365 to open a sportsbook in MA, but the partnership fell through when the UK-based operator decided not to pursue MA licensing.
The continued questions and stuttering on a license for the racing facility has seen Caesars also terminate its deal with the MGA. A Raynham Park spokesperson claims: “There is a distinct possibility, I’d say more than that, that we will be able to revive the agreement with Caesars.”
With the withdrawal, Raynham’s case became even more difficult. MGC Executive Director Todd Grossman commented: “As a matter of law, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which the application to move towards a temporary license to operate could be granted by the commission”.