What a day at Churchill Downs this past weekend. Always Dreaming (great lottery name by the way) took control with a nearly 3 length victory. Even under imperfect weather conditions, hundreds of thousands visited the racetrack in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to experience the iconic Kentucky Derby. The most prestigious race on the racing calendar drew top ratings and the betting handle was an all time record, increasing a staggering 8% on the previous high. This translates to an enormous $209 million in wagering on one day of racing, evidence horse racing still very much connects with 2017 America.
That’s 209 million examples why we should be bullish on the ability of the Sport of Kings to connect with the masses.
And it’s 209 million examples why people love horse racing.
Yet outside of the Triple Crown races, the Breeders’ Cup and several other big race days, the racing industry seems to disappear for an overwhelming majority of the population. “There’s enough racing around the country to have a lottery game every day of the year?” is one of the most consistent questions I’m asked by lotteries when presenting EquiLottery.
And I can relate. Before I entered the racing industry in 2008, I had been to the racetrack twice, a chance Kentucky Derby invitation in 2007 and a random visit in the Seattle area when I was 13. I remember having an absolute blast both times. And yet I too would have been shocked to know how much racing content was available daily because it rarely entered my distraction-laden world. Days like Saturday show just how popular horse racing can be. But people can’t love what they don’t see. We must do a better job distributing this sport beyond its core audience.
Of course, that’s why EquiLottery exists. Through thousands of new distribution points, we connect the public-at-large to a sport they love when they are exposed to it. We are the only product on the market that has the potential to deliver the excitement of live horse racing to the masses every day of the week. We represent the industry’s most potent marketing opportunity, one that even includes a new revenue stream in the way of a broadcast rights fee to racetracks and purse funds. And because people love horse racing, EquiLottery gives lotteries an exciting and profitable new game for their portfolio. This is why major industry players such as AmTote International, IGT Global Solutions, Penn National Gaming, Eldorado Resorts and Kentucky Downs are working with us to make our vision a reality.
Horse racing is incredibly well positioned to retake the mantle as one of our great past times. At two minutes or less per race, it’s even formatted to fit into this era of short attention spans and entertainment on the go, especially when presented through a mobile app.
Horse racing’s glass is half full. People love it. It’s the ideal sport for the 21st centuryThe distribution models just need a fresh look.
Fortunately, I know a company absolutely dedicated to delivering on this vision. And 209 million examples why they just might be right.
Bradford (Brad) Cummings