A new game that links state lotteries with pari-mutuel pools is billing itself "the greatest two dollars in sports."
EquiLottery, designed by Brad Cummings after the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships as a way to expand interest in and knowledge of horse racing, is being marketed to state governments in North America now that patents are in place and software has been developed. Tickets would be offered at any lottery outlet in a state that approves the game.
"When I went to my first Breeders' Cup in 2009, I really fell in love with the sport," said Cummings, who at the time worked for The Paulick Report and later served as chief operating officer of PM Advertising, and now is president and chief executive officer of EquiLottery. "At the time I thought, 'Why did I not know about this?' The answer is distribution and exposure."
Cummings said a daily EquiLottery game would be based on a pari-mutuel pool in one race each day. Tickets, which would all be quick picks, would cost $2, with $1 going to the pari-mutuel pool and $1 to the lottery. Of the lottery's share, 20% would be placed in a supplemental pool that would be paid among lottery players who hit the race.
Studies performed in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year projected $100 million in revenue in the first year, Cummings said. That includes $50 million deposited in pari-mutuel pools; the study also said another $50 million in pari-mutuel wagering is possible should the EquiLottery race pools be large.
EquiLottery has made presentations to officials in Ontario and Kentucky, where a study projected about $25 million in annual revenue and an additional $17.8 million in pari-mutuel handle. The study also said should the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) be the race of the day, about $80 million ($40 million pari-mutuel) would be bet across 10 states, with an additional $57 million in pari-mutuel wagers.
Cummings said a poll in Kentucky showed that 76% of existing lottery players would buy EquiLottery tickets, with another 14% in new players.
Work remains to be done on how the game would be marketed, as well as development of a daily racing calendar Cummings said could be tied to royalties for tracks that participate.
"We see it as an opportunity to (create) greater payouts," Cummings said, noting the game wouldn't cannibalize existing pari-mutuel pools. "Lottery players would create quite an interesting dynamic. We're very excited about the possibilities for the industry. We're very supportive of any ways to bring revenue to the racing industry."
EquiLottery anticipates one to three lottery partners at the outset. Once approved, it would take six to nine months to launch the game, Cummings said.