Fox Sports announced last month it will expand its relationship with the New York Racing Association through 2030.
The deal includes a media rights extension as well as a 25% equity stake in NYRA Bets, the horse racing association’s gambling platform. Fox Sports has the option to increase its stake to 49.9% in the coming years.
Since Fox Sports first expanded its coverage of NYRA a few years ago, wagers on NYRA Bets have grown from $7.2 million in 2016 to $225 million in 2020.
Horse racing betting became popular in England in the early 1600s when attending a race was held in especially high regard. Betting has been a significant part of the sport’s appeal since its inception.
Mulvihill says that while overall horse racing gambling has stayed flat for years, the number of bets placed through advance-deposit wagering platforms — like NYRA Bets — is increasing.
Although there were no fans in the stands, over $14 million in wagers were made at Churchill Downs — the home of the Kentucky Derby — on opening day in 2020, a 183.7% increase over 2019.
Fox’s latest move into horse racing adds to its ownership of other gambling platforms in traditional sports betting and online poker and casino games.