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Daily Racing Form To Launch Free-To-Play Mobile Sports App

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Daily Racing Form (DRF) is launching a free-to-play sports betting app called ‘DRF Cash Grab’.
  • DRF Cash Grab will be available for Android and iOS.
  • The Daily Racing Form has been expanding from their traditional horse racing base into sports betting related content.

It seems like every online publisher is trying to leverage the sports betting boom in the US by serving up gambling specific content. That includes the venerable horse racing publication Daily Racing Form (DRF). Unlike many of the newcomers who serve up content of pitiful quality DRF definitely has ‘street cred’–they’ve been covering horse racing since 1894! Over the past couple of years they’ve been supplementing their core horse racing content with sports betting information and that isn’t going to stop any time soon. They now offer their own sports betting portal available at https://www.drf.com/sports but from the sound of it this is only the beginning.

Daily Racing Form is set to launch their own free-to-play mobile sports app called DRF Cash Grab. Free-to-play sports betting-esque games have become a standard part of the sportsbook marketing toolbox. It just makes sense–they offer a product that can at least partially satiate the demand for sports betting in backwards jurisdictions while compiling a potential client database for future marketing efforts. This strategy isn’t anything new–it’s taken right out of the playbook of casinos which have offered free to play products for awhile now to drive business to both online and land based gaming properties. Sports betting is actually a better fit for the ‘free to play’ strategy than casino games–face it, most casino games are boring and repetitive without a financial incentive attached. Sports betting, on the other hand, provides a legitimate intellectual payoff for handicapping a game successfully. This can be experienced to some extent in a free to play environment (though the actual money is nice too).

According to the press release from DRF announcing their free to play app it will distribute ‘real cash prizes to winners every day’ along with ‘big jackpot earnings. It’s available for Android in the Google Play Store and for iOS in the Apple App Store. The Android version is available for download now and I would assume the iPhone version is as well. One thing worth pointing out–you’ll need to set up a separate log-in even if you are already a DRF customer. Sign up is pretty easy–name, email, user ID, password and state of residence. The app itself looks very much like any other sports betting app though without actual money involved. Every listed game has a prize amount along with several ersatz ‘betting propositions’. Here’s a few screenshots:

The press release was about the app though I’m not sure that DRF didn’t ‘bury the lede’–a more interesting story is that they’re going to expand their advanced deposit horse wagering app into sports betting. This became pretty much inevitable when DRF parent company Sports Information Group merged with Affinity Gaming to create Affinity Interactive. Affinity Gaming owns three properties in Primm, Nevada–right at the California state line–namely Buffalo Bill’s, Prim Valley Resort and Whiskey Pete’s. They also own the Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino just off the Las Vegas Strip (formerly known as Terrible’s Hotel & Casino and way before that the Continental Hotel & Casino) and the Rail City Casino in Sparks. Outside of Nevada, they own the Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola, Iowa, the Mark Twain Casino in LaGrange, Missouri, and the St. Jo Frontier Casino in St. Joseph, Missouri. Currently, their Nevada and Iowa properties have a relationship with William Hill for retail and mobile sports betting. You have to think that will change given the forthcoming launch of DRF Bets sports betting and what appears to be an effort by new owner Caesars Entertainment to get out of the third party sportsbook management business.

Itay Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of Sports Information Group, talked about the plan to launch the DRF Bets sportsbook platform:

“The launch of DRF Cash Grab is another key element of our ambitious rollout to deliver a world-class, digital sports betting product to sports fans across the U.S. Following the recent launch of DRF Sports, which expanded our offering of best-in-class data for both horse racing and sports enthusiasts alike, DRF Cash Grab is another exciting milestone that showcases the unique sports and betting content we provide alongside a best-in-class sportsbook. This app and our pipeline of innovative offerings will position us to take bets from every state and grow our presence nationally.”

James Zenni, Chairman of Affinity Interactive, sounded a similar note with his comments:

“DRF Cash Grab is another significant development for Affinity Interactive’s ever-growing platform. As we continue to expand our offerings in the sports betting space, DRF Cash Grab meets loyal sports enthusiasts’ demand for fun and engaging mobile content. We remain fully focused on positioning our platform as the go-to destination for an incredible sports betting experience.”

Aside from the note that ‘online sports betting is coming soon’ to DRF Bets no timetable for launch. Nor is there any guidance to where they plan to launch first. Given their existing presence in Iowa, that’s a likely inaugural destination for the app.

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