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Monday, December 31, 2012

Proposed Rules for Single Pool Wagering

The NJRC has published proposed rules for the introduction of single pool wagering.  This proposal PRN-187 is now available for public comment with all comments due by February 15, 2013.

After reading the proposed rule, there are two terms horseplayers need to learn about single pool wagering.  Specifically:
  • Limit Wager - A gambler can place a bet saying they want to bet $1,000 on the five horse to win if the odds are greater than or equal to 5-1.  Once the betting windows close, the 'odds calculation engine' will determine what part of the wager can be accepted into the pool without dropping the odds below 5-1.  As a result, out of that $1,000 wager, perhaps only $10 of the wager would be accepted with the balance ($990) being refunded to the gambler.  Obviously this is a simple example; others are likely to also place limit wagers. How it is determined what portion of a gambler's wager is actually placed is unknown at this time.
  • All-or-None Wager - A gambler can specify their limit wager is an all-or-none, meaning if the entire wager can't be accepted at the limit odds, none of the wager will be filled. 

So what is the benefit of single pool wagering?  One of the biggest complaints with the existing pari-mutuel system is the last minute odds changes which occurs.  Single Pool wagering takes care of this by offering gamblers a tool to reduce these odds swings; the tool being limit wagers.  Your large gamblers are likely to use the limit wager option.  Since these gamblers bet towards the end of wagering, they are likely to wager using the limit wager specifying odds close to the posted odds at the time the wager is made.  Because of this, whereas $1,000 may have gone on a horse in the last flash, it is possible only $500 may be added to the pool, thus causing a smaller odds shift than if the entire wager was placed.. 

You may ask how does the track and horsemen benefit when whales don't get their wagers filled; isn't there less commission to share?  On the surface it appears that way, but the fact is you may have some new big gamblers looking at your product where they wouldn't have before because the pools were to small because they know the odds won't crash on them..

There are some questions which need to be answered.  Will the CPMA approve single pool wagering?  If not, the co-mingling of Canadian money into the Meadowlands pools may be at risk.  Who is going to be given the right to wager using limits and all-or-none wager options?  Will it be only the whales or will everyone have the right to do so?

It will be interesting to see what the public comments will be.  The first time the NJRC can approve the rules is at its March 20 meeting. 

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