Home » Legislators hear pitch for lottery game that involves horse racing

Legislators hear pitch for lottery game that involves horse racing

Winning numbers are determined by horse race outcomes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2014) — Legislators heard details on Friday about one man’s quest to get the Kentucky Lottery Corporation to purchase a game of chance he conceived to promote and create additional revenue for Kentucky’s horse racing tracks.

lottery“I think anything we can do to help the horse racing industry is something we as a General Assembly ought to be interested in,” Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) said after hearing testimony from the game’s creator, EquiLottery President Brad Cummings.

EquiLottery is like most lottery games, except the winning numbers are determined by the outcome of a horse race and not by ping pong balls falling randomly down a chute. For the EquiLottery to remain a pure game of chance, the numbers are randomly picked by a computer. Players can not pick their own.

If the lottery commission does not take steps to adopt EquiLottery within the next 30 days, Thayer said lawmakers should write a letter to the lottery commission asking why.

Rep. David Osborne (R-Prospect) was the other legislator who showed support for EquiLottery. He said it is only fair to the horse racing tracks to adopt EquiLottery because the state lottery has competed directly against the tracks since its inception.

Lottery corporation officials didn’t testify at the hearing but committee members were provided copies of an email dated Wednesday from lottery President Arthur Gleason to Cummings.

In the email, Gleason said he had concerns regarding the EquiLottery proposal, including its ability to be conducted under the present Kentucky Lottery Corporation statute, financial viability and marketability among lottery players and racing patrons.

Cummings told legislators the winning numbers in EquiLottery would be determined by one horse race a day, preferably from a Kentucky track. EquiLottery would cost the player $2 per bet and it would revolve around a particular existing racetrack bet like a superfecta, with the winning numbers at the track the same as the winning lottery numbers.

Of the $2 lottery play, $1 would go to the lottery corporation.

The remaining half would go into the track’s pari-mutuel pool, with the track taking its customary cut or takeout rate. The lottery winner would receive whatever the exotic wager pays in the track plus a bonus payoff that would be determined by how many lottery players hit the bet.

Cummings said racks would benefit by new money flowing into the betting pools from those who otherwise wouldn’t bet on racing.

“If Kentucky becomes the first adaptor of this game, we will have the international spotlight on the state and its signature industry,” Cummings said. “There will be significant press coverage. Having Kentucky out there leading the way continues to connect us to the industry that is so part of our DNA.”