Making Betting More Friendly: Peter Rotondo


Peter Rotondo | courtesy Peter Rotondo

With racing’s temporary opportunity as the only game in town, the TDN’s Katie Ritz took a poll of some industry insiders known to like a good bet and asked them: what is one simple way that tracks could make betting more friendly for existing horseplayers and/or more effective at bringing in new players? As you’ll see, none of them could stop at just one.
PETER ROTONDO, Vice President Media & Entertainment, Breeders’ Cup
In terms of bringing in new people, I believe that new players should come from folks who already like to bet sports. Sports bettors need to be catered to across the board. The goal should be to speak their language. Show the odds in a way that they are accustomed to consuming-money lines. Offer fixed odds betting options and prop wagers.
And of course, lower takeout wagers and rebates should be offered at the minimum. A few years ago, I had a conversation with a world famous poker player, Daniel Negreanu. I asked him if he ever bet horses, and he said he didn’t. When I asked why, he told me the takeout was just too high.
For current horseplayers, here are a few basic changes that could be made. In-race odds changing is ludicrous in 2020. The simple solution: close the pools when the first horse enters the gate. Post time equals load time. Off time is when they are all loaded and ready for the start. Along with these points, post times for the top tracks running on a particular day should all be coordinated. This can easily be accomplished if these first two recommendations take place. Also, offer fixed odds wagering, prop wagering, and future book odds.
For both new and current players, open the stream of data to encourage players to create their own algorithms and programs. If this can’t happen 24/7 due to business reasons, let’s at least pick certain days of the week to experiment.

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