Re: Attracting the Millennial Gambler

Re: Dean Towers's articles on attracting the Millennial Gambler:

Enabling Skilled Players to Have an Edge

The nugget in the story about the Finnish player is that he found a source of betting pools that had “dumb money”–which I don't mean as a pejorative–it's just to contrast, in the Finnish case, what is essentially a lottery player versus a serious, knowledgeable, capable, handicapper. Horse racing used to have the “dumb money” monopoly before it left for the state lotteries and slot machines. I used to have a number of friends who made their living betting horse racing; that number has dwindled to one. That “dumb money” is not coming back, but carryover pools, at least, offer the chance of enhancing one's odds because of OPM–“other people's money.” Seemingly extinct bets like the TwinTri gave capable gamblers an edge and had big payoffs and could attract huge wagering if there were big carryovers. Pari-mutuel betting is still the only way for a serious “gambler” to win, and racing must find more ways to attract skilled players, especially Millennials.

What Might Attract Millennials?

A half hour between races will not be attractive to millennials. Of course, there's simulcasting, but one of the objectives should be developing an interest in local racing, as, inevitably, some handicappers will become new owners. One approach to filling the time between races is to make available apps that assist in handicapping, with a secondary objective of increasing each wager. Just a few examples:

1) Based on the current Win Odds, which combinations are currently overlays in the exacta and trifecta pools.

2) If the race is the last bet in a pick n pool, which win bets are overlays compared to what was already bet in the first pick n races.

3) Using something like Trakus, simulate the next race (or races, for a pick n bet), perhaps even allowing some variations–like a speed favoring track.

All of the above, and countless others only limited by imagination, can be made available on smartphones and tablets, thereby appealing to millennials. Plus, additional betting could be encouraged based on better odds.

Lessons from the Dean Towers article:

1) Create ways in which it is possible for a skilled player to win

2) Create handicapping assists designed to attract millennials


Steven Holland


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