You may have read about the 'bad beat' at Louisiana Downs where a horseplayer thought they won a $488,000 Super Pick-5 pay-off when his horse crossed the finish line first in the last race. After all, this is what the 'will pay' graphic showed. Imagine his disappointment when he was paid only $11,983. What happened? The rules of the Super Pick-5 are that the jackpot is paid out only when one person has the winning combination. If more than one person has the winning combination, half of the day's play gets paid out while the rest is added to the jackpost. In the last race after the graphic was shown, there was a late scratch and sure enough, his horse became the post time favorite at the last minute; hence there were two winners.
track did nothing wrong as the rules were followed, but it seems like
it is another black eye for racing. Let's face it when you get paid
only a fraction of what you think you are going to get paid, you can't
help but feel you are getting screwed. When others read about the
story, they are going to think racing is not a sport to wager on.
fact is the horseplayer, now with options to gamble on, has become more
sophisticated so the wager's rules need to be more sophisticated.
Merely not showing the 'will pays' as Louisiana Downs has done is not
A more common sense rule for these
mega-jackpost wagers would be for the jackpot to be paid out when there
is only one 'natural' ticket with the winning combination. Yes, the
person who had the winning ticket on the basis of a late scratch would
share in the jackpot, but at least in this case, the original
horseplayer would have ended up with $244,000 instead of a relative
Instead of giving a gambler the post time
favorite, why not offer a consolation payoff? Yes, there could be
multiple payoffs as a result of offering a consolation payoff, which
would deduct from the jackpot but at least in the case of this wager, if
you had thea scratched horse, you would collect if you had all the
correct winners in the the other legs, yet maintain the original premise
of the jackpot being paid out only if there is one winner of the bet.
yet, instead of assigning the post time favorite, why not make the
horseplayer select a substitute runner who live if the original horse is
scratched. Otherwise, it would be possible for someone who had
multiple runners in any of the legs to end up beating themselves by
having to two combinations with the post time favorite due to a scratch,
defeating themselves inadvertingly.
Any of these
options would also prevent gamblers from manipulating the win pool by
betting a horse with no chance to make sure a certain horse is not the
post time favorite. While the track benefits from this strategy, the
rest of the gamblers are at a disadvantage.
The bottom line is you can't offer new style bets with old fangled wagering policies supporting them.