Imagine That ?

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club is unveiling a new wager; ” The 3 Pick 1.” – I know it sounds a little tough to swallow, but if you look at it. You’ll see how it could be a wager that spans the wagering demographic. – Here it is in a nutshell.  (Example) -You have three separate wagers to choose. The track handicapper selects the top two favorites in Option #1, and you get 1.5 odds on your wagering dollar if either win the race. – Option #2, you get three mid-price runners who’ll pay if any of those win (2.9 odds on your dollar).  – Option #3 – You get 6-7 long price runners, and if any of these win you get (4.7 odds on every dollar wagered). – I could see where this would be attractive to newbie players out for the evening, and savvy players looking for the edge over the public.

The predicted wagering is a shadow of what normally goes on in Hong Kong. Horseplayers there wagered $12 billion in just 83 days of racing in 2013. A total of 771 races were run, making the average pool for each race more than $15 million, according to International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities figures. By comparison, tracks in the United States ran 43,139 races last year with an average per-race handle of approximately $230,000 for around $9.9 billion in total wagering according to Bill Nader of the HKJC.” 

Just giver the bettors a varied menu, educate the public about wagering, and turn them loose. Plan on having ambassadors, or bet specialists with a large area of information. Just be on hand for the player, and they’ll take care of the rest on their own. – I once told my boss that customer service at the track should be limited to the first five minutes as they walk in the door. – Greet them, and see if you can help them get started, and give them your card and let them know you’re here if they need anything. Then, turn them loose. Gamblers hate to have someone in their face asking how their day is going while watching intently to close out the pick-four. – I was in a casino and was on a roll playing video poker. Then out of the mist appeared a beautiful young gal with her team member badge asking “how I was doing today, and was I having a good time ?” – I liken it to the movie “The Cooler” where they send in some unlucky shmuck to start talking to you, or change dealers when you win three hands in a row. – That is not customer service, that is a major distraction. Our jobs are to make it understandable, easy to use, and be on hand to answer or assist. – I think the HKJC gets the picture.

Without further adieu, I would like to unveil a fun wager on this side of the ocean. – We’ll call it “Let it Ride.” – You know,  just like the favorite movie of every horse player ? – The idea is pretty simple. The track handicapper will select one race from the card, and two hours before post, the wager will be designated on which race it will be held. – It will be held once a night, and have a 10% takeout. – The bet will require the player to make a wager that has the winner, the quinella, and the trifecta all from the same ticket. – You will be able to use multiple horses, but as you add runners, the price of the ticket goes up. There will be $1 minimum, and if no player hits the wager, the complete pool carries over to the next day of racing. – You can have mandatory payout dates, special dime wagers on certain dates, and for the player who enjoys chasing a lottery size jackpot this may be for you. – If not, there are many options you have been playing for years. Did you ever think we would have dime supers and $1 pick-six options for Breeders’ Cup ? – Me neither.

At another track I had the pleasure of working, we were having a brain-storming session where everyone was talking, and the leader said there we’re no bad ideas, so fire away. – I had one and we all started talking, and we tried to tear it apart. Once it began to hold water, we tried to find ways to beat it or have an advantage. Once this was answered, we would draw up a formal plan to submit to the racing commission where further study would be given. – I was chatting with him as we left, and said “we’ll have to throw a hundred pitches to the batter. The majority will be balls, but when we get the sweet slider that dances over the plate. We know we’re on to something new.” – He agreed, and said “keep throwing, and we’ll keep trying.” – That was the answer in a nutshell. Keep trying and never lose the energy to bring more excitement to the game. – The moment we stop pitching ideas, someone else will come right behind us and take it further in another direction.