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The present invention relates to a wagering system that satisfies pari-mutuel regulations while offering patrons fixed-odds at the time the wager is made. More specifically, the present invention relates to a wagering system whereby patrons may place wagers on horse and greyhound racing, or other pari-mutuel events, on a fixed-odds basis so that once a patron places a wager, the payoff on that wager is fixed based on the terms of the wager when the wager was initially placed.
In most jurisdictions in the United States, the only type of wagering allowed on horse and greyhound racing (collectively “racing”) is pari-mutuel wagering. In pari-mutuel wagering, the house retains a fixed percent of the handle (i.e., the total amount wagered) in each pari-mutuel wagering pool, and the remainder is paid out to those patrons who wagered on the winning entry. The house's retention is the sum of the established fees (for example, commissions, taxes, etc.) that are designated for the track operator, local and state taxing authorities, the owner's association, and others. The key characteristic defining pari-mutuel wagering is that the house's portion is a fixed percentage of the handle; in other words, the house has no financial interest in the outcome of the race, since the house's revenue is identical regardless of which entry wins the race. Pari-mutuel regulations also cover unusual situations such as minimum payout amounts on an entry, “negative” pools, no wagers on the winning entry, rounding down of payoffs (“breakage”), etc.
The handle from pari-mutuel racing in the United States has been declining almost constantly for decades. A major factor in that decline is the way that pari-mutuel pools are currently implemented. When a patron wagers on an entry, he does not know with any certainty the odds he will receive on his wager. He may be able to see displayed the approximate odds at that time, should no additional wagering be entered into that pool. However, these odds are likely to change, often radically, under the influence of the wagering pattern of subsequently placed wagers. The final odds can be calculated, and are available, only after all wagers have been placed, often times only after the race has started. The odds on each entry are equal to the money in the entire pool, less the house retention and less the money wagered on that entry, divided by the money wagered on that entry. The payout to a successful patron equals the amount wagered, multiplied by the odds, plus the amount of the wager.
In much of the world outside of the United States, race wagering is performed on a fixed-odds basis; that is, the house offers to accept wagers on an entry at specific displayed odds. If a patron accepts those odds and places a wager, the payoff on that wager is fixed based on the terms (i.e. the odds and the stake amount) of the wager. The house may subsequently change the odds offered for future wagers placed by other patrons, but any such change would not affect the terms of any wagers already accepted. Fixed-odds wagering is inherently far more attractive to gamblers than the current pari-mutuel wagering because they are able to determine whether the payout to be received on a winning wager is sufficient to compensate for the perceived likelihood that their wager will be won. This usually cannot be determined with reasonable certainty with a pari-mutuel wager.
In these known fixed-odds systems, the house makes a decision on each bet as it is received, as to whether to accept or reject it, in whole or in part, at the odds currently offered on that entry. But since it has no way of knowing the sums that will be subsequently wagered on each entry, the house does know if by accepting any specific wager it will violate the pari-mutuel principle that the total payout on all entries must be the same and must equal the sum of the wagers received on all entries, including the specific wager, less the total house retention. Thus, even though the house has the discretion of accepting or rejecting, in whole or in part, any wager it receives, it has no way of determining the course of action it should take on a specific wager. A calculation made after a wager is accepted can tell if that wager, along with other wagers, satisfy the pari-mutuel calculation, but by then it is too late. The wagers that have been accepted may not satisfy the pari-mutuel calculation, and as there can be no way of knowing the sums of the bets to be subsequently received, it is not possible to assure that the pool of bets accepted can satisfy the pari-mutuel regulations. Thus, the house will usually end up with a financial interest in the outcome of the race as it would be highly coincidental for the total sum of the wagers received to be in the unique ratio that satisfies pari-mutuel regulations for the specific set of fixed-odds offered on the entries in the race, or other type of event.
The present invention overcomes these and other problems by disclosing a wagering system that: (i) satisfies the pari-mutuel regulations while also (ii) offering patrons fixed-odds at the time a wager is made. The present invention is able to simultaneously achieve these two goals by selectively accepting/rejecting fixed-odds wagers offered, in whole or in part, such that accepted wagers are always in the proper proportion to satisfy pari-mutuel regulations. It is able to do so by presenting a set of fixed-odds for all of the entries in a race or other event, opening betting, batching the bets received and then making a decision on accepting, in part or whole, some portion of the total sum of the bets received on each entry such that the ratio of the bets accepted on the entries satisfies the pari-mutuel regulation. The bet volumes received, with regard to each entry, give an indication of the opinion of the betting audience on the favorability of the odds offered on a specific entry, i.e., if the total received on an entry is greater than that allowed by the pari-mutuel calculation, it indicates that the subset of the audience that has bet thinks that odds being offered are greater than they should be in relationship to the likelihood of that entry winning; correspondingly, a lesser sum indicates that the audience believes that the odds offered are too low. The house then accepts the ratio of bets offered such that it satisfies the pari-mutuel calculation and then, using the information from the bets received, adjusts the odds to make the ratio among the various entries accord more closely with the opinion expressed by the betting audience, as determined from the ratio of the sums of the bets previously received. Betting is then reopened at the new set of odds on the various entries, the received bets are again batched and the bet acceptance procedure using the pari-mutuel criteria is repeated. This process is repeated until all persons who wish to enter bets are satisfied, there are no bets received on a given entry, and adjusting the odds does not bring in bets on all entries, or the event upon which the bets are being solicited commences. You will note that while each individual pool of bets (the bets accepted with a specific ratio of odds on the various entries) might include odds on one or more of the entries that differ from another pool with the same entries, each pool individually satisfies the pari-mutuel criteria and therefore is a valid pari-mutuel pool. It is also possible, using the same procedure described above, to accept bets during the course of a sporting event.
In one embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method of providing fixed-odds pari-mutuel wagering system for wagering on entries in a race, comprising the steps of: (a) opening the wagering system with an initial pari-mutuel pool at initial fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (b) evaluating each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, which is included in a batch of bets on that entry at those odds, to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (c) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (b); (d) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the initial pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (e) optionally providing a subsequent pari-mutuel pool, comprising the steps of: (A) providing a subsequent pari-mutuel pool with optionally modified fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (B) evaluating each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (C) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (B); (D) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the subsequent pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (f) optionally repeating step (e); and (g) closing the wagering system.
In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method of providing fixed-odds pari-mutuel wagering system for wagering on entries in a race, comprising the steps of: (a) opening the wagering system with an initial pari-mutuel pool at initial fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (b) evaluating each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (c) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (b); (d) placing rejected, in whole or in part, wagers in a queue for later evaluation; (e) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the initial pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (f) providing a subsequent pari-mutuel pool with optionally modified fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (g) evaluating each new proposed wager and each previously rejected wager placed in the queue at the optionally modified fixed-odds to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (h) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (g); (i) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the subsequent pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (j) optionally repeating steps (f) through (i); and (k) closing the wagering system.
In yet another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method of providing fixed-odds pari-mutuel wagering system for wagering on entries in a race, comprising the steps of: (a) opening the wagering system with an initial pari-mutuel pool at initial fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (b) evaluating each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (c) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (b); (d) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the initial pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; and (e) closing the wagering system.
In still a further embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method of providing fixed-odds pari-mutuel wagering system for wagering on entries in a race, comprising the steps of: (a) opening the wagering system with an initial pari-mutuel pool at initial fixed-odds for each entry in the race; (b) accumulating a number of bets (one or more) at the initial fixed-odds on the entry and then evaluating each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, which is included in a batch of bets on that entry at those odds, to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (c) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (b); (d) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the initial pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (e) optionally providing a subsequent pari-mutuel pool, comprising the steps of: (A) providing a subsequent pari-mutuel pool with optionally modified fixed-odds for each entry in the race, (B) accumulating a batch of bets at those odds and then evaluating each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds to determine whether a combination of wagers would satisfy a predetermined pari-mutuel calculation; (C) accepting or rejecting each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds, in whole or in part, based on the determination in step (B); (D) based on one or more predetermined criteria, closing the subsequent pari-mutuel pool to further wagering; (f) optionally repeating step (e); and (g) closing the wagering system. The wagering system may accept at least one of a fixed-odds bet, a limit bet, or a market bet.
In accordance with the wagering systems disclosed above, the initial fixed-odds may be based upon a knowledgeable estimate of what a population of available patrons will expect the odds on each particular entry to be. The predetermined pari-mutuel calculation may be satisfied when the proposed wager on a particular entry is such that the total payout on that entry at the offered fixed-odds is equal to the total amount accepted in the entire pool minus a house retention. The predetermined criteria may keep the pari-mutuel pool open for a period of time so that that the wagering system maximizes the total dollar volume of wagers able to be accepted in the pool under the pari-mutuel regulations. The wagering system may remain open until all wagers that can be accepted, are accepted. Alternatively, the wagering system may remain open until the race begins.
Moreover, the optionally modified fixed-odds may take into account the wagering pattern presented by the previously placed wagers so that the modified fixed-odds induce patrons to change their wagering patterns to produce a new betting pattern that would allow a combination of wagers to be accepted under the pari-mutuel regulations. The wagering system may only accept proposed wagers whose cumulative dollar wager volumes satisfy a predetermined proportional relationship that corresponds to the pari-mutuel calculation.
Furthermore, the wagering system may place partially or completely rejected wagers into a queue. The wagers placed in the queue may still be available to be accepted after new wagers at the modified fixed-odds are received. The wagering system may accept wagers placed in the queue when the modified fixed-odds for the wager is equal to or better than the fixed-odds in effect when the wager was placed.
The wagering system may also be configured to accept lay bets (a bet that a specific entry will not win the race or event). Note that a lay bet is mathematically equivalent to making back bets (a bet that a specific entry will win the race or event) on each entry except the one upon which a lay bet is intended for a wager amount such that the payout will be identical to that which would have been received if the lay bet were successful. You will note that the amounts of the substitute back bets will differ, by entry, depending upon the odds offered for a back bet on that entry. Note also that if one of the back bets wins, it must be that some entry other than the one associated with the lay bet has won. Thus, the lay bet would have been successful as a lay bet is one that wagers that the entry upon which the lay bet was placed will not win. Alternatively, if none of the substitute back bets wins, then the bettor placing them would lose all of his bets, which will equal the amount the bettor would have lost with his lay bet, since if no other entry has won, the entry associated with the lay bet must have won.
The wagering system may include accumulating a number of bets (one or more) at the initial fixed-odds on the entry and then evaluate each proposed wager at the initial fixed-odds, as well as accumulating a batch of bets at the optionally modified fixed-odds and then evaluating each proposed wager at the optionally modified fixed-odds.
The wagering system may also be configured to accept wagers on the outcomes of a series of events, where more than one entry must win (a parley, including the outcomes of multiple events), or upon the order of finish in a single event (exactas, trifectas, superfectas), or finishing within a given order of finish, without regard to the exact precedence of finish if the entries finish within the given order (quinella) and other similar types of wagers where multiple outcomes must be predicted. It also could be extended to accept wagers in cases where more than one entry wins, such as “place” and “show” wagers.
The wagering system may also be configured to accept at least one of a fixed-odds bet, a limit bet, or a market bet.
The present invention relates to a wagering system that satisfies pari-mutuel regulations while offering patrons fixed-odds at the time a wager is made. For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the present invention, an exemplary, non-limiting embodiment will be described. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is hereby intended, such alterations and further modifications are contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
At the outset, the wagering system with an initial pari-mutuel pool offers initial fixed, displayed odds for each entry in a race or other event. The initial odds may be derived, for example, based upon a knowledgeable estimate of what the population of available patrons will expect the odds on each entry to be. Thereafter, the pari-mutuel pool is opened to receive wagers on each participating entry, the bets received are batched and a decision is made upon which bets should be accepted, in whole or part, from the batch. However, the system will only accept wagers on each entry in an amount such that the pari-mutuel calculation (as discussed below) is satisfied. That is, the system will only accept a wager on a particular entry if the total payout on that entry at the offered fixed-odds is equal to the total amount accepted in wagers, including the current wager, less the house retention, i.e., the total amount in the entire pari-mutuel pool, including the amount of the proposed wager, multiplied by the house retention percentage.
A particular pari-mutuel pool will remain open to receive wagers for a period of time that the system determines will likely maximize the total dollar volume of wagers able to be accepted (under the pari-mutuel regulations) in that pool. For example, the system may remain open until all the wagers that can be accepted, are accepted, as will be described in greater detail below, or until some other predetermined criterion is satisfied. Once the system has maximized the total dollar volume of wagers, that pari-mutuel pool may be closed and a subsequent pool opened, with a new set of fixed-odds offered on each entry in the pool.
For subsequent pools, the offered fixed-odds will take into account the wagering pattern presented by the previously placed wagers. That is, some or all of the fixed-odds might be changed from those previously offered, to better reflect the opinion of the available wagering population. Changing the odds has the effect of changing the proportion of wagers on each entry required to satisfy the pari-mutuel regulations. A new proportion will be sought. The new odds will have the effect of inducing the patrons to change their wagering patterns because the new odds are based upon their previously expressed sentiments, as derived from previously placed wagers. The new fixed-odds should thus more closely accord with the patrons' opinions as to what are fair prices and therefore yield wagers which tend to be placed more closely in the desired proportion.
The process may be reiterated at new fixed-odds, successively, in subsequent individual pari-mutuel pools, as long the system determines that additional wagering dollar volume might be accepted in these individual pari-mutuel pools. The start of the race or other criteria might require the cessation of wagering. Note that while each pool will individually satisfy the pari-mutuel regulations, the fixed-odds on the same entry may vary from pool to pool, as the fixed-odds on each entry may be changed to maximize the dollar volume of wagers accepted.
Table 1 illustrates an example of the required proportion of total dollar amounts of wagers that can be accepted on each entry to satisfy the pari-mutuel regulations. It is assumed in this example that the house wishes to withhold 10% of the total amount wagered. In this table, the fixed-odds are represented by the payoff amount to be paid per unit of wager amount. This payoff includes the return of the patron's wager. This example shows that regardless of which entry wins, the winning patrons will share $90.00, and the house will retain $10, i.e., 10% of the $100 wagered. Other combinations of wager amounts will yield the same house retention of 10%, so long as the ratio of the wagered amount is in the same proportion as those shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1 | ||||
Showing Stake Amounts and Odds Yielding Identical Payoffs | ||||
Cumulative Wager | Cumulative Payoff | |||
Entry | Odds | Volume in $ | Amount in $ | |
1 | 3.00 | 30.00 | 90.00 | |
2 | 3.60 | 25.00 | 90.00 | |
3 | 4.50 | 20.00 | 90.00 | |
4 | 9.00 | 10.00 | 90.00 | |
5 | 11.25 | 8.00 | 90.00 | |
6 | 22.50 | 4.00 | 90.00 | |
7 | 45.00 | 2.00 | 90.00 | |
8 | 90.00 | 1.00 | 90.00 | |
Total: | 100.00 | |||
As previously stated, in order to qualify under pari-mutuel regulations, the only wagers that can be accepted are those whose cumulative dollar wager volume are in the right proportion. If wagers are received that are in different proportions, then only a subset of the total wagers can be accepted, and that subset would have a dollar wager volume in the proper proportion. This process may include taking a partial wager, that is, taking a wager that represents only a portion of the amount the patron is actually willing to risk. After the wagers that can be accepted, are accepted, there will remain unaccepted wagers (either full or partial) on some but not all of the entries. One or more of the entries will then have no wagers available to be taken.
Wagers that were received prior to the changing of the fixed-odds are placed on a queue and are still available to be taken after new wagers from the new fixed-odds are received. These wagers are placed with a “good until cancelled” understanding, as long as when they are accepted the odds under which they are accepted is equal to or better than the odds indicated on the original wager. Thus, some wagers previously placed might be able to be accepted because more wagers could be accepted at the previous odds, which might still exist, in the new set of fixed-odds. Or, by judiciously increasing the odds for some of the older wagers to newer, higher odds then available, it would be possible for the system to accept a set of wagers, some placed before the odds were changed, and some after, and still have the total dollar wager volume be in the proportion needed to satisfy the pari-mutuel regulations.
The wagering system may accept a form of a place or show wager, or a wager selected from the group consisting of parlay, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, quinella, “pick six”, or other types of exotic bets that call for multiple entries being successfully selected as finishing in a prescribed manner, including but not limited to first, second, third, etc.
As a further extension to the invention, the system may offer the patrons a choice of multiple “types” of wagers, each with different characteristics. For example, in order to increase the likelihood of a wager being accepted by the system, the patron would be allowed to specify one of three limit conditions:
When making a bet, the patron will indicate the limit condition preference. One option would be the default. Just prior to submitting the bet, the patron would be able to change his/her limit selection. If the patron chooses an L bet, the patron will indicate the desired Limit Price. One possibility is to allow the patron free rein and allow him/her to enter his own Limit Price. For ease of use, and for reasons of system efficiency, it may be preferable to let the patron choose the Limit Price from a list of one or more pre-calculated prices offered by the system (for example, prices which provides a return 10% or 20% less that the current price).
Because an L bet allows the system to accept a wager at a price below the current price (but not lower than the limit price), the L bet provides flexibility to the system. That is, it will be easier to find a combination of wagers that satisfy the pari-mutuel calculations. By extension, the M bet provides even greater flexibility to the system. In order to encourage patrons to make use of these more flexible bet types, when wagers are accepted by the system, M bets will be given priority, followed by L bets (in order of most price flexibility, i.e. lowest Limit Prices), with F bets having the lowest priority.
As those of skill in the art will appreciate, one could use the wagering system of the present invention, with relatively small extensions, to also accept “lay” wagers, that is, wagers that an entry will not win. It should be noted that a lay wager is equivalent to placing normal (back) wagers in the proper dollar proportion on all entries but the entry upon which the lay wager was offered. Similarly, a series of back wagers on all but one of the entries, in the proper proportion, is equivalent to a lay wager. Additionally, back and lay wagers on the same entry could be accepted if the payouts are equal, after the house retention is subtracted. The wagering system of the present invention also can be extended to accept wagers in cases where more than one entry wins, such as “place” and “show” wagers.
The present invention has been described in connection with the above-illustrated example. The present invention, however, is not restricted thereto. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that other variations and modifications can easily be made within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims, thus it is only intended that the present invention be limited by the following claims.