Del Mar Demonstrates Why Horseplayers Need to Boycott Gimmick Jackpot Bets

delpick6 The confusion over the Pick 6 payoff at Del Mar really should come as no surprise to horseplayers, who by now should have learned their lesson to stay away from these gimmick jackpot bets that do nothing but hurt churn and the balance of your wagering bankroll.

Del Mar debuted their new gimmick for the fall meeting. Under the new set up, 70% of the net pool would be paid to tickets with six winners or be carried over to the next racing day if there are no perfect tickets.

With the remaining 30%, 15% was to be paid out to consolation tickets (in most cases 5 of 6) and 15% to be paid out if there is one winning ticket.

When it debuted, Del Mar president Joe Harper said, “While the Pick Six used to be the only exotic wagering game in town, the landscape has changed and players are looking for new bet concepts. We believe the ‘Single Ticket Jackpot’ will reinvigorate California’s Pick Six and produce some life-changing payouts.”

Going into Sunday there was a $89,411 carryover that had to be paid out since it was closing day. Bettors dropped an additional $780,563 into Sunday’s wager.

A perfect ticket on Sunday returned $16,660.40, but much to the chagrin and anger of horseplayers, there was no 5 out of 6 consolation payoff.


At the Del Mar summer meeting closing day there was a payout of the Pick 6 for 6 ($44,000.80) and a 5 of 6 consolation which paid $102.00.

Del Mar posted a statement on their Twitter account that read:

“Due to confusion surrounding Del Mar’s closing day Pick Six pool payouts, based on the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Rule 004-105G (“Pick N Pools”), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club asks that customers hang on to their Pick Six tickets until Del Mar, AmTote and the California Horse Racing Board are able to clarify all circumstances surrounding the full distribution of the pool and the payouts.”

As of Monday morning, not a peep out of Del Mar. One estimate I saw was that a consolation 5 out of 6 would have paid out close to $90,000 to players.

This not the first time tracks have taken horseplayers money.

There was a $686,309 Pick 6 carryover from Kentucky Derby Day and guess what Churchill Downs did with our money?

Half of the pool ($343,154) was used in a mandatory-payout Pick 6 with 20-cent increments (called the Single Six) on the following Thursday and the other half was used to seed a new Single Six wager the following day.

Churchill Downs set a dangerous, (and probably illegal) precedent to place the money in basically any pool they wanted to.

These jackpot gimmick bets are a desperate attempt to create a large carryover and mandatory payoff that could earn one player millions.

However, is it really better for the game for one horseplayer to walk away with a $2 million payday or is it better for 400 players to each add $5,000 to their wagering account.

Sure, it might be good for the game to make some noise about an 84-year-old grandmother hitting a Pick 6 for $2 million, but the industry does such a poor job of marketing itself, the word likely wouldn’t get out anyway.

The industry is trying to fool horseplayers with gimmick bets and “guaranteed pools.” These so called guaranteed pools offer zero value to bettors 99% of the time.

The industry needs to wake up and realize these gimmick bets are churn killers.

Speaking of churn killers, I almost got done this column without mentioning the larcenous 30% trifecta takeout at Parx Racing and the 31% take on tris at Penn National.

Yeah, I’m not going to let that happen. It’s Monday and I’m cranky.

Update from Del Mar at 3:00 ET on Monday

Wednesday Update: Players to Get Paid:



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