BetMGM announced Friday its first horse racing partnership with NYRA Bets, the official online betting platform of the New York Racing Association. NYRA Bets, also leading providing of horse racing content across the United States, will allow fans to watch and bet on Thoroughbred, Harness, and Quarter races at over 200 tracks around the globe.

In a statement through a news release, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said the online sportsbook found “a great partner in NYRA Bets.” He said the company looked forward to working with them to create an exciting, interactive experience for horse racing fans on BetMGM.

First of Its Kind Deal

It is the first of its kind deal in that it brings together two separate entities together. Though TVG and FanDuel have an identical arrangement, both entities are part of the parent company, Flutter Entertainment.

BetMGM-NYRA deal allows the digital sportsbook to use the New York-based corporation’s wagering platform for its BetMGM horse racing app.

Customers, who can download the app for Apple and Android devices, will have access to daily horse racing content, in addition to the live streaming video and race replays. Fans can also bet on marquee events in the nation like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.

Besides national events, BetMGM users will also be able to wager on international horse racing events such as the Melbourne Cup, Royal Ascot meet, Saudi Cup, and the Dubai World Cup.

Two Giants Come Together

BetMGM-NYRA Bets partnership brings together two giants in their respective fields. BetMGM is among the top 3 online sportsbooks in the nation, with a reported market share of 22%. The digital sportsbook was formed out of a partnership between the Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International and UK-based Entain, formerly GVC Holdings.

Currently, BetMGM has existence in as many as ten states through its sports betting, online casino, or online poker services.

Meanwhile, NYRA Bets went live in 2016 as a nationwide legal online betting platform for horse racing. The app saw phenomenal growth in 2020 as horseracing found new fans.

Currently, NYRA Bets is the fourth-largest advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform in horse racing and available to customers in as many as 30 states. NYRA Bets allows customers to wager on any global event from anywhere at any time.

Evolution of Horse Racing and Sports Betting

President of NYRA Bets Tony Allevato said in a statement that the BetMGM-NYRA Bets partnership is the kind of bond that reflects the significance of horse racing within the fast-evolving sports betting marketplace.

Allevato praised BetMGM for consistently leading the charge to expand betting opportunities for its customers.

As per the Oregon Racing report, NYRA Bets took in $225 million in handle in 2020. TVG reported the highest handle with $2.46 billion, followed by TwinSpires ($2.45 billion), and Xpressbet ($1.35 billion).

Though it puts NYRA Bets a distant fourth, the platform has grown rapidly since its launch. The app’s 2020 handle reported a 103% increase year-over-year.

A Strategic Timing

The BetMGM-NYRA Bets deal comes amid a crucial time when plenty of sports betting action is taking place around the country. More states are legalizing, and New York mobile sports betting is just around the corner.

In addition, fixed-odds wagering on horse racing is also expected soon in New Jersey.

However, the new partnership is only about pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, as Patrick McKenna, a senior director of communications for NYRA, said.

“The partnership strictly with advance deposit wagering into pari-mutuel pools for BetMGM customers outside of New York State,” McKenna said. “It does not provide for fixed-odds betting in New Jersey or in any other market.”

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