13 April 2018

Horse Racing Bet Ideas To Compete With Sports Betting

It looks like horse racing very soon will have to face the inevitable, and compete with sports betting. Horse racing already had to deal with slots. Luckily, in most jurisdictions, the horse racing industry was deemed important enough to get a piece of slots revenues.
It might be a tougher sell in many jurisdictions when it comes to sports betting though.

Lots of questions are still unanswered, like who is going to be the risk taker since betting on sports in its purest and most popular form is not parimutuel? Will tracks and ADWs
be the major hub for sports betting or will Daily Fantasy Sports sites be the biggest player? What cut, if any, will the horse racing industry receive?

The sports leagues are the ones putting on the show, and they are asking for 0.5% of the total handle. Vegas publishes their win numbers every month on all forms of betting. For sports betting, it is usually around 5% of the total handle and it includes single game bets and parlays (which have a larger" juice" rate than the estimated 4.5% for individual games). That means the leagues will most likely be getting around 10% of gross profits. When you add in the states cut and the operator/risk taker cut, there probably won't be much left for horse racing even if they do get a cut.

So let's look at a few bets that horse racing can put out there to directly compete with sports betting. The advantage horse racing has is that a race is over in 2 minutes, while a game is over in 2-3 hours. Even if a parlay is experimented with, it can be over in less than an hour.

The Odds Even Bet
This is not a new idea. It has been tried, unsuccessfully, in the past. A parimutuel wager with a low takeout where one has the option to take all the even numbered horses or all the odd numbered horses in a race. Making this kind of bet anything but
a parimutuel wager would be suicide for a racetrack, but this kind of bet, if promoted nationally, could become successful, and it could be a major stepping stone to exchange wagering. This bet can also be a parlay bet using multiple races with a higher takeout to put it on an equal footing with sports betting.

The Jockey Team Bet
This is a variation of the jockey head to head bet which again has been tried before. Again, this needs to be parimutuel. This idea has quite a few variations that can be used. For example, a computer can figure out which jockeys have the most mounts in North America for race cards that begin between 12 and 2 EDT. Using a formula that incorporates morning line odds, two close to equal teams of 3 jockeys can then compete head to head for total wins.

The Winning Payout Bet
This is a variation of the Odds Even Bet. This has to be another low takeout parimutuel bet. For example, lets assume it is 10 horse field, horseplayers can bet over or under a win payout of $12.55. Of course, tracks can use their historical mean payout price for races of X number of horses as the target price so that there is a good chance that there will be equal action which means a $1.90+ payoff for both sides of the bet, which is equal to sports betting. This too can be a parlay bet as well, using multiple races.

The above piece was recently published in HANA's Horseplayer Monthly. Check out April's Edition, there is a lot of good info and it is free.