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Horse racing could follow poker tour model

Friday 29th February 2008

In an exciting new idea, horse racing could get its own tour based on the model of the hugely successful World Poker Tour (WPT).

California's horse racing board is considering launching the World Thoroughbred Tour, based on the idea of WPT founder Steve Lipscomb.

"We're extraordinarily excited about the possibility to do something in this sport," Mr Lipscomb told Bloodhorse magazine. "We've had appeals from everything from bingo to blackjack. We passed…But there are so many parallels [between racing] with the poker market in 2001.

"At that time, poker rooms were closing in droves. Fans were dying out. People asked how do we save poker?"

The answer lay in the WPT, which saw poker turned into a spectator sport and broadcast into people's homes on TV shows.

If horse racing were to be turned into a tour, punters would have a buy-in fee and receive a fantasy bankroll or an online betting account.

Wagers would then be placed on a win, place or show, or a combination of those, with options to pass a race or go 'all in'.

The tournament winner would be the player to win most from all the bets made and a prize pool would be distributed among top finishers.

"It's certainly very interesting," said California Horse Racing Board chairman Richard Shapiro. "It could add new life to another old game. It's a wonderful thing. Poker has been a phenomenon. This is a terrific concept."

Source: News

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