Jake Henson, BetMakers: fixed-odds betting can bring racing to an entirely new audience

The roll out of fixed-odds betting can act as a “catalyst for growth” for US horse racing, according to Jake Henson, Chief Operating Officer at BetMakers Technology Group

In an interview with SBC Americas, Henson discussed some of the ways in which fixed-odds sports betting can help bring horse racing to a new audience across the US while also delivering “significant increase in returns to all stakeholders”. 

He said: “We’re really excited about the fixed-odds roll out, because we think it can be a bit of a catalyst for growth. So if they get the economics right, there’s a real opportunity for significant increase in returns to all the stakeholders.

“Obviously, the technology and user experience that the largest sports betting operators will deploy will be second to none in the wagering space, but will also far exceed what the current horse racing punters in the US are used to – especially for things like promotional spend and product innovation. I would say that this will also create a lot more curated content for punters. 

“So if you like betting at Aqueduct and Belmont, then I expect that you’ll get promotions in that field. The bigger operators will really leverage what they’ve done in other markets with racing, and curate a product that will be popular in the states over time. 

“For racing, if you look at companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel, they have monthly active users in the millions. For racing to be able to tap into millions of new potential punters is obviously a huge opportunity. 

“But the onus is on the industry to come up with a way that they can get their product on the shelf, and work with all the moving parts of horsemen and regulators and operators to get an equitable model. If that model is put in place, then I see no reason why racing can’t become a major sport.”

Talk soon turned towards BetMakers’ plans in 2022 – particularly relating to the US. Earlier this week, the provider agreed an extension on its exclusive term to become the exclusive provider of fixed odds betting on thoroughbred horse racing in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) confirmed that it had extended the term from the initial period of 10 years to a new contracted term of 15 years.

Touching upon that announcement, Henson added: “In the last few days, we obviously released some information around the New Jersey market and our plan with Monmouth Park and the horsemen there. 

“With the Global Tote business, we want to keep investing in the technology that sits alongside our ADW platform and digital betting platform network. There’s probably also going to be a few other initiatives around race sponsorship, improvement of on-track facilities and other industry sort of initiatives – one of which is that we’ve got the big screen at Monmouth Park that we’re excited to roll out this season. We’ve got lots of plans that we hope can sort of reinvigorate the space a little bit and set our partners up for long term success. 

“On top of that, we’ve got our Bet Line terminals which we want to roll out to existing partners which is basically a new hardware system and software that sits on top of that, that will go across racetracks and outlets and ADWs OTBs. 

“I think the key takeaway for us is, obviously, we want to focus on growth and extracting more revenue for stakeholders in the market. So everything you see from BetMakers in the US will be around that. Expect lots of new technology, lots of new hardware and hopefully, shaking things up a little bit more.”

Watch the full interview HERE