The Pitfalls of Pari-mutuelsIf you want to make a living betting the horses, you don’t have chance on anything that’s Pari-mutuel. There isn’t a professional on earth who can go up against a Pari-mutuel, whether it’s Hollywood Park in Florida or Santa Antita, California. The finest thoroughbred handicappers in the world cannot win at that system and they never will. We go to a bookie.
Once your dollar goes into that machine, they cut you up; they slice your dollar to bits, so no matter how astute you may be as a pro handicapper. Even if you’re one of best ever – I’m talking about guys like Jay Clark, Bobby ‘The Indian’ Strauss – they can’t beat it. However, if they catch a bookmaker, they can catch an overlay.
When you go to the window, you’re talking about a total pool that’s probably one tenth or less of what you’ll find at a major racetrack. Consequently, it makes it triple tough to win. It depends on what you’re betting on, but they’ll take out anything from 15%-30%. You can’t put a dollar into a machine that is only giving you 70c value – it doesn’t make sense – not unless you got tomorrow’s newspaper.
People bet Pari-mutuel because they have no choice. If you go down to Santa Anita Park and you want to bet, whether it’s $2, $5, $10 or $100… you have to go to the window, unless you have a personal bookie. If you’re a pleasure player – fine. You go down to the dogs, the harness or the thoroughbreds and make your wager and you can get lucky, but its like they say, ‘You can beat a race, but you can’t beat the races’. You can’t make a living this way; it’s impossible. You’ve got a better chance going to a casino and shooting craps.
Frank Rosenthal was the King of Las Vegas in seventies. He ran four casinos, including the Stardust, and was the man who brought sporsbetting into the Vegas casinos. He was portrayed by Robert De Niro in Scorsese’s celebrated movie, Casino and is known as one of the foremost experts in sportsbetting in the world. You can find out all about Frank's extraordinary life at www.frankleftyrosenthal.com.