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Churchill Hits On Combo of Luck and Loophole With "Luckity"

Added on: April 4, 2013

Churchill Downs knows that casino gambling on the internet is not yet something that is regulated and licensed, and therefore at best falls into one of those "gray areas" in the law. But they are adding a little more clarity to that gray area, for their purposes, with their operation of Luckity.com, a site that, in its own way, disguises horse races as casino games of chance.

The concept of betting on horse races online is perfectly legal on an interstate level. So why not shape a casino game to fit into the framework of a pari-mutuel betting event? That is what the contestants actually are doing, but it is packaged more or less as a slot machine game. It differs from "instant racing," which is installed at a couple of Kentucky race tracks and involves wagering on nondescript races that have taken place in the past. When it comes to Luckity, a player is betting on a race that has yet to be run, but the thing is, the player does not even know where that race is. The wager, which is, in effect, merely the selection of a number combination, is put into a pool and applied toward a race. You're betting a trifecta, except you don't know anything about the horses or even about the track they're at. It literally could be anywhere.

Are they jumping through a loophole? Yeah, maybe. Is it a stroke of genius? Most certainly. If you listen to the marketing people at Churchill Downs, they want to extend the interest in horse racing to a much broader market. That the people don't even realize they are betting on horse racing is relatively immaterial. They are just playing a lucky number, or choosing to go with a "quick pick."

As far as the people who run Luckity are concerned, the results on the horse races, especially as combinations are picked by the player and put into the system to land somewhere at "random," constitutes the same effect as a random number generator, except that the results are not necessarily instantaneous. That's okay for most people, because with the other online games, especially the social games, they play within the United States, they can't wager real money.