A recent Blood-Horse.com article proclaimed the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) gave initial approval for Exchange Wagering. Currently, there are only two U.S. states that have passed legislation authorizing exchange wagering on the ponies: New Jersey and California. It would be nice to see similar legislation get introduced in “The Land of Pleasant Living” (aka Maryland).
What is Exchange Wagering? “A form of pari-mutuel wagering in which two or more persons place identically opposing wagers in a given market.”
Gasp! You mean the horse racing industry wants to provide more ways for people to gamble way their hard earned money?!
Let’s not kid ourselves. Every working person gambles. Not I you say?! Do you have an IRA, 401k, 403b or individual investment account? If you said “YES”, then you gamble, because those accounts are filled with stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds. All which are “traded” between two or more parties. One would argue that when the stock market is involved, that’s investing, not gambling.
According to the Encarta Dictionary (via Bill Gates’ Microsoft Word)…
Gamble: to play games such as poker or roulette that involve risking money, or bet on horse races or other events, in the hope of winning money.
Invest: to use money to buy or participate in a business enterprise that offers the possibility of profit, especially by buying stocks or bonds.
So when you “invest”, doesn’t that involve risking money? Conversely, when you “gamble”, aren’t you doing so for the possibility of profit? So can we agree that we’re talking semantics here?! Invest… Gamble… it’s the same!
Here is a step-by-step walk through the execution of a simple trade on the NYSE.
1. You tell your broker to buy 100 shares of Acme Kumquats at market.
2. Your broker’s order department sends the order to their floor clerk on the exchange.
3. The floor clerk alerts one of the firm’s floor traders who finds another floor trader willing to sell 100 shares of Acme Kumquats. This is easier than is sounds, because the floor trader knows which floor traders make markets in particular stocks.
4. The two agree on a price and complete the deal. The notification process goes back up the line and your broker calls you back with the final price. The process may take a few minutes or longer depending on the stock and the market. A few days later, you will receive the confirmation notice in the mail.
Now let’s explore a step-by-step scenario for Exchange Wagering at the race track…
1. You tell the pari-mutuel clerk you are interested in placing a $100 WIN on #3 (let’s call the horse Acme Kumquats) in the 1st race at Laurel Park. The current betting odds on #3 is 9-5, but you want 5-2 or higher before you “invest”.
2. The pari-mutuel clerk contacts the Exchanging Wagering supervisor assigned to those betting windows and he/she relays the request to their clerk in the Exchanging Wagering department.
3. The clerk enters the request into the track Exchange Wagering system, which scans for “sellers” who are willing to give 5-2 odds or more on #3 (Acme Kumquats). That is, a patron who does not think #3 will win and wants to entice anyone who thinks #3 can win, to make the (exchange) wager with him/her at more attractive odds than what they would get by simply making a $100 WIN wager.
4. A match is found and to complete the deal, the “buyer” puts up $100 in hopes earning a $250 profit (i.e. 5-2) if #3 wins, while the “seller” puts up $250 for a $100 ROI as long as #3 does not win the race. The notification process goes back up the line and you receive a confirm ticket having the details. The process may take a few minutes or longer depending on the track. A few minutes later, you will either cash your ticket for $350 or tear it up and throw it in the trash, as the “seller” cashes his/her ticket for a $100 profit.
Exchanging Wagering can be another shot in the arm to the Maryland horse racing and breeding industry, just as the small percentage curretnly received from slots revenue.
Recapping Laurel Park selections from Saturday, September 22nd had just 5 winners from 11 races (2 Top Selection; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs being $4.20 (2nd race), $8.20 (3rd), $7.60 (5th), $6.00 (8th), and $10.60 (10th).
The BEST BET of the Day (4 2-1-0) was nearly ignored at the betting windows, probably due to Jessica Rice, a seldom used jockey in Maryland, but she recognized the lack of other speed in this field, sprinted to the lead and held on gamely to win, providing her backers a handsome return of $8.20 to WIN, $4.40 to PLACE and $3.40 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (4 1-0-0) did a great impersonation of a turtle, moving oh so slowly early and did not finish the race. Something obviously went awry as he took action at the betting windows, being sent off 6-1, down from a 15-1 M/L.
For Saturday races the weather forecast calls Partly Cloudy skies, with just a 10% chance of showers, so I’m anticipating a FAST MAIN TRACK and FIRM TURF. Selections for the Laurel Park, Saturday, Sept. 29th are posted below. Selections posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.
1st race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Love Hero (5-2)
#4 – Sandhurst (9-2)
#6 – Flattering (8-5)
2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Changinoftheguard (5-2)
#2 – Gina’s Propspect (2-1)
#4 – Gagne (7-2)
3rd race – $25,000 Claiming NW2L for fillies/mares 3 y.o. and up – 5½f on TURF
#10 – Great Motion (4-1) $$$ BEST BET $$$
#9 – All Mettle (5-2)
#4– Monster Sleeping (5-1)
4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 2 y.o. – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Petie’s Boy (3-1)
#4 – Cobbler’s Mark (3-1)
#6 – Proud Trick (5-2)
5th race – $38,000 Maidens for 2 y.o. fillies – 5½ f on TURF
#12 – Ephyra (5-1)
#13 – Chelsea Road (3-1)
#5 – Smart N Smokin (20-1)
6th race – $10,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#7 – Culpepper Colonel (2-1)
#4 – Aviation Show (9-5)
#8 – Scrap Dragon (5-2)
7th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile on TURF
#8 – No Delay (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#4 – Backdoor Strike (8-5)
#1 – Grand Manan (6-1)
8th race – $40,000 Optional Claiming N1X for 3 y.o.and up – 7 furlongs
#1 – Grain (9-2)
#6 – Talented Whiz (9-5)
#5 – Tiz Bobby (2-1)
9th race – $25,000 Claiming NW2L for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 5½f on TURF
#5 – Roxbury Rocket (4-1)
#6 – Greedy Daughter (2-1)
#7 – Merryland Moon (5-2)
10th race – $40,000 Alw N1X for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile on TURF
#5 – Thunderous Lady (7-5)
#4 – Tell Me Everything (5-1)
#10 – Lucky Holly (15-1)
11th race – $10,000 Maiden Claiming for 2 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#3 – Put It On Me (5-1)
#5 – Plowshare (6-1)
#6 – Daba Daba Dew (15-1)