Handicapping horse racing is a barrier to attracting new players to the sport.  Esoteric past performances, with the fine print, voluminous footnotes, and cryptic abbreviations can be an intimidating turn-off to the neophyte, while learning to play slots or wagering on sports, for instance, is far less imposing.

Aside from interpreting the information, the exercise itself may be too ponderous and too slow for people raised in an age of video games and mobile communications devices.  Even the traditional advance-deposit wagering sites can be daunting for the beginner.

A unique start-up ADW company called Derby Jackpot is trying to make horse racing more accessible to the beginner by offering bets on live horse racing from around the globe with a more creative interface.  The founders are young entrepreneurs with a diversity of skill sets and different ways of thinking, and include the co-author of Freakonomics, a former game designer at Zynga, and people with engineering or operations experiences at an online casino, a digital messaging service, and a major racetrack company.

Derby Jackpot is billed as being easier to play than the lottery.  Bets like the Monkey, the Granny, the Gonzo, and the Fiddy are presented in either a table-game format or a slots-like configuration.  The Gonzo, for example, is an exacta box bet in which each race entry is represented by a playing card, whereas the Fiddy presents a Trifecta bet as an easily understandable slots-machine play.

The Derby Jackpot format will be too elementary for an experienced handicapper but horseplayers are not the game’s audience.   The casino-like presentation focuses on keeping the wagering simple.

Derby Jackpot is currently heavily advertised on sports-talk radio shows, where there is a huge potential for encouraging sports fans to try betting on horse racing for as little as a dime.

Copyright © 2014 Blood-Horse Publications.  Used with permission.