- Beat the Dealer became an improbable bestseller, as thousands of gambling naifs imagined themselves proud owners of a genuine get-rich-quick scheme. Most overestimated their skill and determination, but flooded the casinos nonetheless. Suddenly blackjack became big business.
I think this lesson was not lost on the industry. You can visit a lot of casinos and play very low takeout slots, or video poker that pays out at or above par with perfect play. It's "Beat the Dealer" but under their own terms. They don't do that because they're a charity; they do it because it makes for good business.
In horse racing (pre-computer), the work of Ziemba is probably the closest thing we've seen to "Beat the Dealer". Dr Z's method of betting place and show in underlaid pools made some fans players. However this never really caught on. Beating 20% takeouts by a method like Dr. Z's was not only difficult, it would become impossible.
In the 2000's it is not as much about beating a racetrack by an angle or method, but via a medium. Rebate shops and betfair do not exist because of anything too fancy. They exist because people think they have a chance to win, just like the Beat the Dealer readers did in the 1960's. It's exactly the same principle.
If rebate shops and low takeout exchanges sell racing to a new demo, give people at least a chance to win and promote racing to gamblers like Beat the Dealer did, why is the industry constantly against them? I think it's because they don't believe the concept of Beat the Dealer works. I think that's an almost Shakesperean flaw for our entire industry as a gambling destination.
If you give people a chance to beat your game, they will try and beat your game. It's not casino specific, or game specific; it's human nature. If people are trying to beat your game, they're interested in it, they're talking about it, they're visiting your venue, and they are paying customers.