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A Canadian Harness Exchange?

Question for Tuesday.

It's Tuesday night. Grand River Raceway is on. It is not a bad place to bet, but pool size is an issue for people wanting to bet more than $20. Lo and behold a Canadian Harness Betting Exchange is available. One track per night is featured. They have set it up like Betfair did, where market makers with real dollars are getting a deal to set markets, and provide liquidity. There is volume and there is action.

The website hosting it links to free video and free programs. There is a chat feature. Handicappers are there, and playing. The rakes are microscopic. The place wants to grow, so prices are fan-friendly. Dummies did not set this up, like some businesses that think if you build it they will come. They have set the table for it to be an active place to be.

Would you join up, pop a few bucks in and play?

Simple question, really. Does it interest you more than playing in small pools at the track? You currently do not play Grand River, would this entice you to watch it? Is it something different that catches your eye as a customer of racing, but not of Grand River?

Cangamble placed up a link to a demo of betfair. It is a tad slow, but if you have never seen what you can do on an exchange, it is a good primer. It is here.

The bottom line is: Harness betting is tanking. Drastic measures call for drastic action. Sitting on your hands is not an option. Is this an option that can energize harness racing? Are you interested? Would you spend a night messing around being a Grand River fan, eventhough you might not even know where it is, nor have ever watched a race there? Would this make you a follower of Grand River racing?

Feedback would be very much appreciated.


Anonymous said…
I would certainly love to wager on harness (any track) via a betting exchange and would provide much liquidity as a market maker. I use betting exchanges today to bet sports and thoroughbreds although my preference is for standardbreds but no such market exists today.

Betting exchanges don't require many market makers to be successful and takeoff. The ability of the seller to keep cycling money through the exchange would allow a few sellers to provide enough lines for the buyers to get very competitive odds on the horses they are looking to bet.

No doubt in my mind this would work regardless of what track it is that is being offered so long as there is only 1 track being offered initially and the exchange is not charging a ridiculous fee on all matched bets thereby scaring away all market makers.
Don said…
Yes, I bet on Grand River races. Want to check out your one track a night site, but you omitted a link to it.

Your blog covers a wide area very well. Your handicapping series was not the way I bet, but certainly made sense.

Don Wilson
Pull the Pocket said…
Hi Don,

The above about a Canadian Betting Exchange was just hypothetical. I wish it was not, but it is :) Maybe one day the rules will be changed and the game can evolve. I am just wondering everyone's thoughts on that and if they might play Canadian tracks in a different way if proposed. So thanks for your thoughts.

The handicapping notes are broad in nature; very little to do with picking winners. One thing I have learned from betting over the years is there are many ways to skin a cat. People say dont bet show; or don't play exotics, or just bet win; or whatever. Since it is a betting market I believe people can win in myriad ways.

And I hope you do tonight at Grand River!! Good luck!

Anonymous said…
I'm still not exactly sure how a betting exchange works. Do I put money up on a horse to win (or lose) and the public decides whether or not they want to take it? I'm not sure.
Pull the Pocket said…
Hi A,

Yep, it is a market. On the left hand side of the page is what you can "buy" and on the right hand side is what you can "sell"

For the fourth race at Grand River tonight, for example, we see the one horse was 4-5, or 0.90 on the dollar odds. At a Grand River exchange you might see the horse number then this:


The odds are a little tricky. They are on a +1 odds system, so 2.0 needs to be subtracted by one to get the odds the way that they are shown on the board. So in our example the one horse is even money to 9-5 (1.0-1.8)

That means if you wanted to bet the horse you could get even money. Bet $20 to win $20, which is slightly better than board odds. If you wanted to "book" the bet because you thought the one horse would lose, you would have to book it at 9-5.

Markets are very tight at times, so maybe a horse who is a heavy favourite might be 2.10-2.12 or 3.25-3.30.

Once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to understand. Altho many people find it intimidating at first.
Brock said…
I actually opened a Betfair account two weeks ago. It is a absalute blast. The percentage of races that I bet is probably up 400%. I have even bet a few U.K. races. Watching the odds change as the race goes is something that I never thought I would of seen. North American track operators are absolute fools if they dont jump on board.

Now if I could only get my money back on that 20-1 horse I layed against the other day :0
Pull the Pocket said…
If it ever does become a reality round these parts we will have to look at the gambling strategy on betting to lose. Boy, it can kill a bankroll. Just ask whomever it was who booked a steeplechaser a few months ago at 1000-1 to have him win, and a lady at home got the car paid for :)
Don and Ron said…
Hey! I saw that you guys like to bet on harness racing, so I thought you would like this piece of info. It's a site that teaches you how to bet and their offering incentives to get people into it. We have a YouTube channel as well if you want to check that out or embed videos. Happy trails

Don and Ron
Don and Ron said…
Hey! I saw that you are interested in betting on Harness Racing. I thought you would like to know about this site that teaches you how to bet. They offer a coupe incentives to try and pump up the sport. Have a look, we have a YouTube channel for a little humour or if you want to embed videos. Thanks
Happy trails

Don and Ron

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