RAYNHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Construction crews are in the process of building a brand new, state-of-the-art sports betting facility at Raynham Park.
The new 30,000-square foot facility would be the largest standalone sportsbook in the nation. Project manager Bob Brooks told WBZ NewsRadio that the building will have a capacity of 2200 people, a 70-foot LED screen, and approximately 200 extra TVs for patrons to watch.
"This is gonna be a place where you can grab friends, girlfriends, wives, and go, get something to eat, sit down, and watch a Bruins game, a Patriots game, a Celtics game," Brooks said. "And at the same time, be able to just walk up and make a bet on it if you wish."
Governor Charlie Baker recently signed a bill that legalized sports betting in Massachusetts at the state's casinos, slot parlors, simulcast centers and through mobile platforms. The launch is expected in late 2022 or early 2023 as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission works on regulations for operators.
Raynham Park opened in 1940 as a dog racing track, and in 1971 it became the first major track in the U.S. to hold greyhound racing seven days a week. Its racing days came to an end in 2009 when Massachusetts voters chose to ban dog racing in a statewide referendum. The park now simulcasts greyhound, thoroughbred, and harness racing six days a week.
"When we lost the right to our dog racing, I believe most people would have given up and gone to something else," said George Carney, whose family has owned Raynham Park since 1966.
The 94-year-old Carney believes the new sportsbook will reignite both Raynham Park and the local economy.
"I've been betting on myself my whole life, and I believe it's gonna be very successful for the town of Raynham," said Carney. "We're gonna generate a lot of jobs, a lot of money for the Commonwealth."
The sportsbook's opening date is planned for March 2023.
WBZ's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) has more.