Is adding a new wagering system the key to saving the Sport of Kings?
The latest effort to rescue Horse Racing in the state of New Jersey is to take a new approach to the wagering system.
Governor Phil Murphy, who in a recent interview with Meadowlands, stressed the importance of the Racing Industry as a "huge economic driver, probably a billion dollars to our GDP, a hundred million dollars of revenue to the state, thousands of jobs" is now to lead a change in the way people wager, so that it feels more like sports betting.
In addition to the pari-mutuel wagering system, there will now be a fixed-odds wagering system.
Pari-mutuel vs Fixed-odds wagering
First of all, in a pari-mutuel wagering system, odds and payouts depend on the pool of bets that is collected. A bet placed when a horse is 10-1 could grow to 20-1 or shrink to 5-1. Essentially bettors are playing against each other.
But in a fixed-odds wagering system, the bettor knows exactly what odds are being received at the moment the bet is made. (DRF) The odds are "fixed" ahead of time by the oddsmakers.
Both systems would be offered, with the hopes of reaching more bettors. Last month, a bill was unanimously approved by lawmakers to affect these changes into reality, which is now on the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy.
Dennis Drazin, chairman and chief executive officer of Monmouth Park who substantially wrote the bill approved by the Legislature, stated that: "In the sports betting world, in the iGaming world, you have 20 times the amount of eyes that are looking to make wagers than we currently have with our pool in the racing industry."
Drazin's comments reflects his previously expressed goals of expanding Horse Racing beyond its limited audience.
Bill Pascrell III, a lobbyist who represents Monmouth Park and BetMakers, basically says the current pari-mutuel system is old hat and doesn't appeal to the younger generation of bettors. And while the states of North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, Colorado and Oklahoma are innovating in this direction, Pascrell III says New Jersey should try to be the first.
"If we don't do fixed odds, within the next 10 years and perhaps even sooner, the horse racing industry is going to die on the vine," Pascrell III said.
Read the full story in greater detail here.
Source: HorseRacingToday, Sportsline Unlimited, DailyRacingForm, Meadowlands