Opening Day at Oaklawn Park Features New Show Bet Bonus

Racing news

Oaklawn Park Offers New Wagering Option

The gates open for opening day at Oaklawn Park Friday, Jan. 13, and the Hot Springs, Arkansas track is offering a new “one-of-a-kind Show Bet Bonus” for the 2017 live meet.

The track is reducing its takeout for show bets made at the track, resulting in higher payout for a bet that makes up about 12 percent of on-track bets per season.

“We are in a unique situation,” said Bobby Geiger, director of gaming and wagering for Oaklawn Park. “A significant number of our attendees every season are still relative newcomers to the sport or have never been to a race track before. We want to increase their opportunities to cash tickets, put more money in their pockets and create a more fun environment for them.”

Oaklawn purses have climbed steadily each year due to profits from Instant Racing and other casino type games. Now management Is offering a “back to the future” style move. The financial incentive will be accomplished by reducing the takeout on show wagers and thus increasing the amount paid back to customers.

Show bets made on-track will have a low 10 percent takeout. Show bets made off-track will still have a 17 percent takeout. What this does is create a 7 percent bonus in the price of show payouts made on-track.

In fact, the on-track Show Bet Bonus payback to customers will be similar or higher than the payback to customers generally found on slot machines in casinos.

“This year, we hope to improve the on track experience by providing a financial incentive to participate in show wagering – the easiest bet in racing,” said Geiger. Unlike a trifecta where a person has a one in 720 chance of winning in a 10-horse race, the show pool gives players three chances in 10; you cash a winning ticket if your horse finishes first, second or third.”

The new Show Bet Bonus should also increase on-track handle.

Opening day at Oaklawn has another bonus. Vic Stauffer is the new track announcer. Stauffer, 57, has called more than 40,000 races, but has not called a race full-time since the closure of Hollywood Park in 2013. He’ll call all the races at Oaklawn Park through its 57-day meet to April 15.

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