The mobile app, having originated as a partnership between Caesars and the New York Racing Association in January, launched in Ohio and Florida last week. Caesars owns both horse racing tracks in Indiana — Harrah’s Hoosier Park and the recently rebranded Horseshoe Indianapolis, which was previously Indiana Grand. They are both racinos that also offer casino gaming and sports wagering.
“The launch of Caesars Racebook is an important milestone as we continue to add wagering opportunities for our customers and livestreaming content for the first time,” Dan Shapiro, senior vice president and chief development officer of Caesars Digital, said at the time of last week’s initial launch.
“Caesars Racebook is truly differentiated as the first horse racing advance deposit wagering app to include our award-winning Caesars Rewards loyalty program. We look forward to welcoming new horse racing customers and existing fans onto the platform and to working with NYRA Bets to grow horse racing as we deploy Caesars Racebook with plans to launch in about 30 states across the country.”
Caesars has made $60 million in upgrades to the racino properties, which was among the conditions laid out by the Indiana Gaming Commission and Indiana Horse Racing Commission to approve its $17 billion merger with Eldorado Properties in 2020.
Big races draw big handle
Overall horse racing parimutuel handle totaled $12.2 billion in 2021, and more than $290 million was wagered for the first two legs of this year’s Triple Crown — the Kentucky Derby and Preakness — despite service interruptions for key advance deposit wagering operator TVG on race day ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Handle for the Belmont Stakes in 2021 was $60.5 million.
New Indiana customers who register with the Caesars Racebook app can get a match of up to $500 to their initial deposit. Caesars is hoping for a bump in action with the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown. Kentucky Derby champion Rich Strike, who was held out of the Preakness by his owners, headlines a field of eight that includes current favorite We The People, winner of last month’s Belmont Peter Pan Stakes.
Photo: Matt Stone/Courier Journal via USA TODAY