Off-Track Betting

The movie-buffs amongst you readers will undoubtedly be familiar with the Paul Newman-Robert Redford starrer “The Sting”. For those of you who are above such childish pleasures, “The Sting” is a film that centers on a caper involving off-track horse race betting. It is a fine example of just how the business works (even if the one depicted in the film is a hoax) and what bettors can expect in parlors. Another interesting film about horse races is the early Stanely Kubrick classic, “The Killing” (oh, come on! I hope you are familiar with Stanley Kubrick, at least!). For those of you looking to brush up on your knowledge or to get in the mood for some horse racing, it would be a wise idea to check those movies out.

Seasoned betters will know that there are two general ways to bet on horse races. You can either go to the actual track to place your bets or you can bet off-track. Off-track betting, naturally, consists of all betting that you do away from the actual race track. That includes visiting betting parlors, telephonic betting and online betting. Back before our lives were less dependent on technology, off-track betting happened exclusively in betting parlors, as depicted in “The Sting”. It would be of interest to enthusiasts to know that off-track betting was illegal in most states in the US before 1970 (Nevada was the only state to allow it). It was only when the state of New York first approved it in 1970 that others began to catch on. After a few initial months of friction between the owners of the race tracks and the parlors, laws were passed that took into account the plight of both the parties as well as the state. Since then, off-track betting parlors have continued to grow. The practice generally consists of placing a bet, waiting for the Totalizer to display the winners and then collecting dues. Off-track betting is really helpful for those who cannot make it to the actual races, but still wish to enjoy the thrill of waiting.

Now, bettors can even enjoy betting from the comfort of their homes. Telephonic and online betting is becoming quite popular nowadays. Apart from being convenient, the reason why a lot of people choose to place bets remotely is because one gets the opportunity to do as much research as one wants beforehand. Some portals even provide help lines to those who want the latest tips and scoops. Another factor in the popularity of remote betting is the fact that people have less time to spare. In our times, time is money, but not the kind of money that one can gamble with. Online and telephonic portals are safe and legal, too. So, while the attendance has dropped for both the track owners and the parlor holders, the amount of money flowing in has steadily increased. After all, the more convenient something is, the more people there are willing to try it.