Anne M. Eberhardt

Fractional Bets, Decimal Odds at Keeneland

The spring meet at the Lexington racetrack begins April 6.

Keeneland officials said the Lexington racetrack will be the first in the country to introduce “fractional wagering” and a decimal odds display when the spring meet begins April 6.

Track officials said both will be an enhancement to the ontrack experience.

Fractional wagering, which will be available on all betting pools, allows patrons to add horses to tickets at a reduced cost. At Keeneland the minimum amount bet must match the minimum permitted for each wager; for example, no less than 50 cents per combination can be bet on a trifecta. With fractional wagering, for instance, a bettor who has $5 to wager could bet a three-horse trifecta box for $4.80—with each possible combination costing only 80 cents. Typically, a $1 trifecta box would cost $6.

“Every bettor has a story about how he or she didn’t include a horse in their wager because it cost too much and that horse ended up being the one they needed to cash a ticket,” Keeneland chief operating officer Vince Gabbert said. “Fractional wagering is a solution that allows you to get the maximum benefit of your bet at the minimum investment.

“And for casual fans, this is a great way to take a chance on some advanced wagers to sharpen your handicapping skills.”

Keeneland will introduce decimal odds on some in-house televisions during the spring meet. Popular among bettors in Europe and Australasia, decimal odds differ from traditional fixed odds in that they display the actual winning amount that would be paid out to the bettor.

“We expect this to be very popular with fans, especially our less experienced players,” Gabbert said. “We will continue to show the traditional odds as well. By fall, we hope to offer decimal odds on our tote board and simulcast signal.”

Keeneland will have its “Wagering Central” booth set up in the grandstand to assist patrons that have questions or suggestions.