Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Track Offers Seminars on How to Bet Smart

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Track Offers Seminars on How to Bet Smart

Article excerpt

At first glance, it seems odd.

The dog track offering seminars to teach bettors how to bet

smart and win money.

But that's exactly what the Jacksonville racing circuit has been

doing periodically the past year -- offering its patrons

half-hour to 45-minute cram sessions on how to avoid betting dumb.

"We try to teach them to bet successfully," said Ken Wright,

the circuit's director of wagering and communications who

teaches the seminars.

"There are good bets and bad bets," he said. "You can actually

bet $20 on a race and `win' and only get back $16, if you bet

the wrong way. If you bet $12 on the trifecta and $8 on the

quiniela, and the quiniela wins and the trifecta loses, you

lose, even though you won."

Wright said the seminars cover different topics at different

times. The first one, when the circuit moved from the

Jacksonville Kennel Club to Orange Park two weeks ago, covered

how to take into account the effect of the change in tracks on

the performance of the greyhounds.

But some tips are universal. Wright said, for instance, his

advice to bettors who hit it big on one race is simple.

"I tell them, `If you win $200 on a race, put that ticket in

your pocket and don't cash it in until the bell sounds for the

last race,' " he said. "You can continue to bet, but leave that

ticket alone. That way, at the end of the night, you've still

won $200."

He added that he also advises bettors never to bet to try to

get even on the night.

Strange advice? After all, shouldn't the track be trying to get

all those people to blow their hard-earned bucks so it'll make

more money?

That's a misconception, Wright said.

"I hear people saying, `Well, I really fed the dogs tonight,' "

he said. "Actually they didn't."

He explained that for, say, each $100 bet, the track gets about

$11, the state $8 and the dog owners $4.

Where does the rest of the money go?

"To the other bettors," Wright said. "If you don't cash a

[winning] ticket all night, we get $11. If you win $500, we

still get $11. The rest goes to the bettors. …

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