Computer Assisted Wagering

When Do CAWs Help And Hurt California Racing?

Last month, a lengthy Financial Times feature detailed the growing share of overall handle generated through Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW)--both in California and nationwide. CAW players are a small group of high-volume and largely anonymous gamblers with an outsized impact on the betting markets due in no small part to the sophisticated wagering tools at their disposal. Because of their high stakes play, they're offered inducements in the form of rebates and reduced takeout rates largely not available to the average punter. CAW proponents argue that these deep-pocketed players provide...

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Letter To The Editor: Craig Bernick

No business can change what it does not measure. Racing's public measurement of support, via wagering, hides serious issues. Recent stories have continued to cite declines in total handle, wondering just what is at play. How that handle has been derived has changed dramatically, but that's not reflected in the overall numbers. Over the last century, U.S. racetracks have reported total handle on their races and, for most of that time, it was one metric that accurately depicted the health of the business. But in our modern era of simulcasting,...

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The Week in Review: Handle Falls Sharply Again in February… What's Going On?

Figures released last week by Equibase showed that U.S. handle declined by 5.21% in February. This comes after handle declined by 7.19% in January. For the year, that's a drop off of 6.22% and, if those numbers hold up throughout the year, total handle will be off by $750 million and the year-over-year percentage decline will be the worst the sport has suffered since 2010. And it's not just that racing has gotten off to a slow, reversible start this year when it comes to wagering. Whatever is going on,...

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Letter to the Editor: Paul Berube

Bill Finley's report (Week In Review) in the Feb. 9 edition of TDN on NYRA's action to restrict wagering on its Pick 5 and Pick 6 wagers by computer-assisted wagering (CAW) players caught my attention, as does any article written on this form of wagering, which I call computer robotic wagering or bots for short. My experience with the bots and their very smart and well- capitalized owner managers goes back 20 years or so. Then, as now, my opinion on wagering by the bots is that over the long...

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NYRA Looks Out for Its Customer; Good for Them

The Week in Review by Bill Finley It's not often in this sport that John Q. Horseplayer gets a break, but that's exactly what happened last week when it was revealed that NYRA was no longer accepting bets from the so-called computer-assisted wagering (CAW) players on its Empire Six wager. The Empire Six wager joined the Cross Country Pick 5 and the late Pick 5 as NYRA wagers that are no longer available to the CAW players. The computer players use algorithms that predict the probability of a particular outcome....

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NYRA Excludes Computer Players from Pick Six Pool

NYRA is no longer accepting wagers from customers using computer assisted wagering (CAW) programs on its Empire Six wager. The new policy took effect Feb. 4. The Empire Six joins NYRA's Late Pick 5 and the Cross Country Pick 5 as pools that are now closed to a group of bettors who use computer algorithms to place their wagers and are known for betting huge amounts, particularly when there is a large carryover in a pool or a mandatory payout day. This was the second step in a process that...

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