Deal With NYRA Allows DraftKings To Showcase DK Horse Betting App At Belmont Stakes, Travers

Written By Grant Lucas on April 10, 2024
Starting gate at Saratoga Race Course for a story on DraftKings becoming a title sponsor for the Belmont Stakes and Travers

Horse racing’s Triple Crown is ready to take center stage.

And with the Belmont Stakes set to take place away from Belmont Park for the first time since 1967, the New York Racing Association announced a new agreement that tabs DraftKings as an official betting partner of both Saratoga Race Course and the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

As well as a presenting partner of the Travers, DraftKings’ advance deposit wagering platform DK Horse “will play a prominent role throughout the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival,” according to the announcement.

“DraftKings is a premier brand within the rapidly growing sports wagering marketplace, and this arrangement will help to introduce world class racing to a wider audience of fans and bettors,” Tony Allevato, chief revenue officer for the NYRA, said in a statement.

“This will be a tremendously exciting year at Saratoga Race Course, and we thank DraftKings for supporting New York horse racing.”

DraftKings doubles down on horse betting app with NYRA deal

Launched in 2023, DK Horse is new to the New York horse betting scene but has quickly expanded and is available in 20 jurisdictions across the country. The app allows users to bet on domestic and international pari-mutuel races.

In New York, the brand will not go unnoticed during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, with signage throughout the Saratoga property starting in June and “a variety of on-site activations reminding fans of the broad availability of DraftKings products.” Of course, New Yorkers are quite familiar with the brand, as DraftKings Sportsbook NY has established itself as one of the go-to NY sports betting platforms, generating a whopping $13.2 billion in handle and $1.1 billion in revenue that is second only to FanDuel.

At the Belmont Stakes, DraftKings will enjoy the presenting sponsorship of the DK Horse Acorn, which will anchor the second day of the festival on June 7 and feature three Grade 1 events among a total of four stakes.

“Bringing DraftKings and DK Horse back to Saratoga for a second consecutive year is a tremendous honor,” Christopher Cipolla, general manager of horse racing at DraftKings, said in a press release.

“Having our branding present throughout the summer at one of the most beautiful and well attended race tracks in all of the world and being named the presenting sponsor of this year’s Travers and Acorn further cements our commitment to the sport of horse racing.”

DraftKings the latest in line of horse betting deals with NYRA

DraftKings will receive plenty of attention during the 2024 New York horse racing circuit. Not only will DK Horse hold a prominent position for the $1.25 million Travers in August, it will maintain that spot throughout the summer meet at Saratoga, which runs from July 11 to September 2. The centerpiece, of course, will be the Travers, featuring five Grade 1 events and live national TV coverage on Fox and Fox Sports.

This year, though, DraftKings will also have the pleasure of taking part in the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of the Triple Crown, which moves to Saratoga this year as Belmont Park undergoes much-needed renovations.

As for the NYRA, this DraftKings deal is just the latest in a long line of similar agreements the racing association has reached in recent years.

In 2021, the NYRA expanded its existing partnership with Fox Sports for the latter to acquire equity stake in the NYRA Bets platform while also extending Fox’s broadcast deal of the Belmont Stakes through 2030.

Soon after, BetMGM made its first foray into the world of horse racing by integrating the NYRA Bets platform into its own horse betting app.

Another notable event came in 2022, when the NYRA forged a deal with Caesars that eventually led to the launch of Caesars Racebook.

Photo by Hans Pennink / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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