3we Horse Racing Singapore

Betting on Horse Races – What Really Happens to Your Money

3 minutes, 15 seconds Read

One of the perks of betting on horse races, instead of betting at a casino, is that you are betting against the other players and not the race track itself, right? Yes and no. Did you ever wonder what is really happening and where your money is going? I know they show you the pool totals, but is that really everything that is bet on the race?

First of all, it’s called pari-mutuel wagering and means that all the money wagered is placed in a single pool for each bet. The race track takes out a certain amount known as the vig and pays the winners with what’s left. The race track is allowed to round the amounts off so that it is easier to make the payments. It’s called breakage. It is another way the track gets to put a nickel or two in its pocket at the player’s expense.

So the vig and breakage are guaranteed no matter who wins and who loses and the race track always gets its cut before the winner’s get what’s left. You may think of the takeout as a fee that you have to pay in order to enjoy pari-mutuel wagering or as a bet that the race track never loses. It is unfair to lay it all at the race track’s feet however, because the state and local municipalities often get a healthy chunk of that money, too.

So what actually happens when you make a bet is that the money is instantly divided and you instantly lose part of your money. That 20% or whatever it may be is gone and you are left with a fraction of your money wagered on whatever your bet may have been. If race tracks were required to show the figures to you along with the pool totals, it would change everything. If the bettors saw how much of their money was taken out and gone on every race, they might start looking for a better game.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love 3we horse racing and handicapping, but I also don’t like having the odds stacked so heavily against me that I have no chance of coming out ahead. Part of the mechanism that makes gambling work is the illusion of winning or having a chance to win. In casinos they use chips instead of money. If you were playing blackjack, for instance, and instead of placing a chip on the table, had to reach into your pocket and pull out a $20 bill, you might bet differently and probably less.

When the dealer reached across the table and scooped up you $20 bill or a small stack of them when you lost each hand, you probably would soon leave the table, right? That is one of the reasons that casinos use chips and another reason that race tracks show pool totals but never mention the vig and what you are paying for each bet. You are lulled into a false sense of security.

In most countries it is the law that the purveyors of food must put a list of the ingredients on the label so that consumers know what they are eating. Along with the list of ingredients is a nutritional statement so we also know whether there is any nutritional value in what we are eating. Informed consumers can choose the foods that have the most nutrition and the fewest bad ingredients. It benefits everyone.

Since 3we Horse Racing Singapore tracks and casinos aren’t about to fill you in on your chances of winning or what you are paying for a bet, I think it is up to the gambler to do his or her own research to find out what that bet is costing. It is also a good idea to write down the amount of each bet and to set limits if you really are serious about making money betting on races.

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