Kentucky Derby Gambling Near All-Time High

$192,600,000.00. That’s right. The recent Kentucky Derby is estimated to have a total of $192.6 million worth of bets. This staggering statistic would be the second-highest dollar amount since the race’s inception. Horse betting is not new phenomena. The all-time record was achieved just a year ago when $194.3 million was wagered on the Derby in 2015. Oh, and as if that’s not enough, those stats are just based on North American Racetracks.


The high volume of wagers is partially due to the number of different ways that you can gamble on horse races. Here a few examples of the intricate ways people can risk their hard-earned money:


Exacta –  A bet picking the 1st & 2nd place finishers in a race.

Trifecta – A bet picking the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishers in a race.

Superfecta – A bet picking the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place finishers in a race.

Daily Double – A bet picking the winners of two races, usually two consecutive races.

Pick 3 – A bet picking the winners of three consecutive races. The same rules apply for a Pick 4, Pick 5, and even a Pick 6.

Prop Bets – People can even bet on things such as how long they think the official song performance (“My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Collins Fosters) will last.


“The House Always Wins”

Sportsbooks and racetracks would have gone out of business years ago if this saying wasn’t true. Generally, (race)tracks take between 10-20% of betting pools, and the remains are divvied up to the winning ticket holders. The lower the odds (likelihood of that event happening), the higher the payout. This tempts players into betting on low percentage outcomes in the hopes of winning big.


Figuring out odds, payouts, and strategies are often complex and confusing, which can be detrimental for problem gamblers. At the time of placing a bet, the rush of risk-taking often outweighs the potential outcomes that can leave players broke. Sometimes individuals go to racetracks and gamble strictly for fun, knowing there is a high likelihood of losing hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. This mindset has proven to negatively impact problem gamblers in New Jersey, Delaware, and all of the places where horse betting is legal.


Help for gambling addiction in New Jersey is here…
If you know somebody who is affected by gambling on horses or has signs of problem gambling in general, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ is here to help. Our 1-800-GAMBLER hotline is confidential and operates 24/7. We also have a full list of meetings on our website that gives individuals somewhere to go to meet others who are seeking help for gambling addiction in NJ and across the US. There is hope, and we are here to prove it.


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