Panel: Sports betting may help racing

Panel: Sports betting may help racing

April 10, 2018 3:00 AM
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Ed Martin, Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) president and CEO, says the likely expansion of sports betting will pave the way for racing to use fixed odds in addition to the pari-mutuel model.

Martin spoke Friday at the technology session on closing day of the ARCI’s 84th annual Conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Fellow panelists said the likelihood of widespread sports betting, which is based on fixed odds in contrast to horse racing’s pari-mutuel structure, may wake up longtime horseplayers and race tracks when it comes to new kinds of wagers.

Sean Pinsonneault, an industry consultant and previously executive vice president of strategy and wagering for Woodbine Entertainment Group, said racing’s big days and the creation of “jackpot” wagers in recent years are ways the sport has created excitement. He added that new options such as offering a partial cash-out option on multi-race wagers, where the bettor who remains alive in the wager has the option to get partial payment or bring in partners who buy part of the bet for the remaining legs, will fuel additional handle.