Fans of the Kentucky Derby, Royal Ascot, and Breeder’s Cup — get ready to have your fancy hats half-turned by a new live horse racing lottery.
If buying a lottery ticket and watching little balls flop during the drawing is too boring for you, stay tuned for the newest lottery that involves live horse racing. Could this end the monotony of horse racing headlines that are only discussing the horse racing results or where to watch the Breeder’s Cup online?
The lottery made a major win toward approval the day before Valentine’s Day by the Kentucky State Senate. The State Bill 74 (SB74), if finalized, means that live horse racing lottery organizers can openly promote and take money for “lottery excitement made simple.”
The Paulick Report states that SB74 is “a bill that would enable a lottery game based on the results of live horse racing” and says that the shared lottery game “builds off of KRS 154A.065 titled ‘Contests involving horses may be basis of a lottery.'” In accordance with these new laws, the new horse racing lottery game will be controlled by the Kentucky Lottery and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Why does America need another lottery? Aren’t Powerball and MegaMillions enough?
According to the EquiLottery website, the idea is that this live horse racing lottery will bring exposure to the horse racing industry, stating, “It’s the number one issue facing the racing industry. Increase its exposure and the sport will thrive.”
There have been multiple reports over the past decade that the horse racing industry is “graying,” and several attempts have been made to make the industry more appealing to younger people. The New York Times cites several reason horse racing is declining among young people and specifically states that the takeout is a potential issue.
“Again, maybe this didn’t matter when racing was the only game in town, but how with a 20 percent overall takeout does it compete with slots (a 5 to 10 percent takeout), and many table games (skill games such as blackjack and poker) which give you an even better chance at winning. When you hear from the major rebate shops, that without the rebate, even their most skilled players almost never beat the takeout, you wonder why you play the game.”
Where can the live horse racing lottery be played? For now, it appears that Kentucky will be the only place that the horse racing lottery can exist, and it will ensure each area of the state can play. The Paulick Report gathered a quote from the horse racing lottery creators, EquiLottery CEO and inventor Brad Cummings, who stated the following.
“We are passionate about delivering the excitement of live horse racing to the nearly 3,000 lottery terminals in Kentucky while helping to send more Kentucky students to college through the scholarships our lottery supports. In fact, EquiLottery delivers a higher rate of return to education funds than most games the lottery currently offers.”
How does it work and will it reduce the takeout? The Paulick Report, an expert in Kentucky horse racing and horse race handicapping, explain that the live horse racing lottery is “the integration between lottery terminals and racing pools that is the basis for a game like EquiLottery… [it] leverages existing prize pools already populated with horseplayer money, which creates dynamic payouts to lottery players and removes jackpot risk associated with other lottery games.” In other words, it looks like the takeout is going to be minimal to non-existent — just like a Powerball or MegaMillions lottery drawing.
A further explanation of how the new live horse racing lottery works is on the EquiLottery website, and they state the following.
“EquiLottery allows lottery players and horseplayers to compete in the same pari-mutuel pools on live horse races. This dynamic boosts payouts through increases in handle, improves the overall racing product and provides an innovative new product for the lottery industry.”
What happens when you buy into the live horse racing lottery? The Louisville Courier-Journal says “a person buying a ticket would be entered in a lottery game and receive a computer-generated bet on a horse race at the same time, possibly winning both.”
On their media kit web page, EquiLottery gives captions from a 2012 survey that states people were more likely to play the lottery if they knew proceeds would go to support the horse racing industry.
Overall, “EquiLottery adds 14% new lottery players to the lottery when they know money goes to support the horse industry.”
When will the new EquiLottery begin? According to Louisville Business First, the bill has to be voted on by the Kentucky House and voters statewide. The earliest it would available is November 2016.
[All images from the referenced links.]