BetMGM Takes New Horse Racing App Online, Choosing Ohio For Its First Market

Written By Derek Helling on October 29, 2021 - Last Updated on November 19, 2021

Ohioans might not yet have access to legal sportsbooks, online casinos, or online poker, but they do have one thing the rest of the country currently lacks legal access to as far as gambling goes. The new BetMGM Horse Racing app is live but only in Ohio for now.

It isn’t clear how long that will be the case, as BetMGM has lofty ambitions for the product. Besides getting a share of the horse betting market in the Buckeye State, there is another motivation for the company to push this product out in OH.

BetMGM Horse Racing app makes its debut in OH

BetMGM has been working on this product in partnership with the New York Racing Association since June. It is now live in its first market, that being Ohio. It’s the first horse racing-specific product for BetMGM.

“We’re proud to introduce BetMGM Horse Racing, our new mobile offering to the state of Ohio,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a press release. “In partnership with NYRA Bets, we’ve created an innovative digital experience for horse racing fans and anticipate the platform’s future launch in additional states.”

Betting on horse races online in OH is neither explicitly illegal nor legal, as there are no state laws on the matter either way. As law enforcement bodies have by and large chosen to allow the activity to go on without incident, it’s effectively legal even if not explicitly.

Thus, on this new app, users have full access to a number of functions. Those include:

  • Bet on races at more than 200 tracks across the globe including MGM Northfield Park
  • Browse handicapping info on harness, quarter horse, and thoroughbred events
  • Watch live streams and replays of daily content including races

The app is available for both Android and iOS device users. Currently, there are no details about any new user bonuses. However, taking this app live in OH does have a bonus benefit to it for BetMGM.

BetMGM’s preparation for a hypothetical future

Should the state ever expand the legal options for online gambling, this app could give BetMGM an edge. With every signup on for the horse racing product, BetMGM gains a person to whom they can market other products.

While there’s no guarantee such cross-sales attempts will actually prove effective or a significant swath of Ohioans will register for BetMGM’s Horse Racing app, it still presents somewhat of an edge over entering the market “cold.” Time will tell how much impact the advantage could have.

The latest out of Columbus when it comes to gambling expansion is a bill that adds online sports betting to the current landscape. Although it doesn’t look like the legislature will reach a consensus by the end of this month, lawmakers are still optimistic it will happen before 2021 ends.

In that event, BetMGM could have a ready-made list of potential customers thanks to its horse racing app when the time comes to push BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio out. In the meantime, though, the product stands on its own in OH.

Photo by Dreamstime.com
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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