FanDuel Group, the US sports betting brand of Flutter Entertainment, announced plans Monday to engage in a multi-million investment in Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Illinois. The venue will undergo a rebranding and complete revitalization, targeting the return of its signature event, the $250,000 St. Louis Derby.
FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing
Under the terms of the agreement with the race track, Fairmount Park will be rebranded into FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, and the sports betting operator would set up a FanDuel Sportsbook retail location. The deal signifies an industry exposure diversification for FanDuel as it is its first with a race track.
Located in Collinsville, Fairmount Park is one of three horse racing venues in Illinois and the only one outside of the Chicago metro area. The race track which offers thoroughbred flat racing has been approved to host 53 live racing days next year, as well as daily simulcasting wagering on tracks elsewhere.
“We are delighted to partner with Fairmount Park to continue bringing high quality horse racing and soon additional entertainment experiences via our sportsbook to the region. Fairmount is an iconic state landmark which we plan to modernize bringing innovative technology and entertainment offerings only FanDuel can deliver.”Matt King, CEO, FanDuel Group
The partnership can also be seen as an extension to the operator’s long history in horse racing via TVG, an online sports-oriented cable and satellite TV network which broadcasts 60,000 races from more than 150 tracks around the world.
FanDuel is also a major sponsor of marquee horse racing events including the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the TVG Pacific Classic and others, as well as a supporter of charities which impact the horse racing community.
“Fairmount Park is excited to extend our partnership with FanDuel Group to now include their sports gaming platform. This partnership will allow the park to remain an important economic driver for the surrounding communities.”Melissa Helton, General Manager, Fairmount Park
Transfer of Sports Betting Operator License
The iconic 95-year-old race track would undergo significant upgrades, including the establishment of the new retail FanDuel Sportsbook location, pending licensing and regulatory approvals from the state regulator, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).
Financial aspects of the deal were not disclosed, but the plan for modernization at Fairmount Park is expected to create new jobs in the gaming and hospitality industry and have an economic impact on other industries in the region.
Currently, FanDuel operates in Illinois under a partnership deal with Boyd Gaming and its Par-A-Dice Casino, but pending regulatory approval, the operator is planning on transferring the license to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.
FanDuel is the second major sports book provider which is launching sports betting in Illinois via a horse race track, after PointsBet went live in September with the Hawthorne Race Course.