nob &Random &Software Wes Novack on 08 Feb 2011

Could new tech improve the horse track experience?

Could new tech improve the horse track experience?

I live in the northern part of Phoenix, Arizona. This municipality is spread out far and wide, with lots of different attractions scattered across the city. One of those attractions is the Turf Paradise horse track, which happens to be right across the street from my neighborhood.

I’ve been to the track a few times, baring witness to the spectacle that is horse racing and partaking in the occasional gambling.

Horseracing (Custom)

So what is a visit to the horse track like? It’s normally a take-it-easy type of experience. Most visitors typically attend with some friends or family, find a table or a spot in the stands to post up and kick-back to enjoy some horse racing betting. Whether you’re indoors in the lounge or outside on the sunny grand-stand, it’s customary to grab some grub, drinks and analyze the race booklet of the day, which gives you information and stats on the horses and jockeys that’ll be participating in the upcoming races.

After devising some sort of horse betting strategy or just willy-nilly choosing some horses based on the coolness factor of their names, you can run up to the cashier/betting booths to place your bets.

I’ve had a somewhat enjoyable time on each occasion that I’ve visited Turf Paradise, but I wonder if the experience could be improved with some technology enhancements?

Smartphone apps

A suite of smartphone apps would drastically improve the horse track experience. With iPhone, Android and other mobile OS apps, participants might be able to quickly view and sort horse stats, place their bets from the comfort of their seats, discuss the upcoming races with fellow gamblers and enjoy a much richer and more interactive experience.

Now I’m not saying that this type of interactive horse track app would be easy to develop or integrate into existing systems, but I can certainly foresee a future where most of the bet placing occurs on phones rather than at a cramped cashier’s booth, with a messy line of folks waiting their turn to vocally proclaim their bets to an attendant.

Touchscreen betting terminals

If smartphone apps aren’t feasible or the track just isn’t up to the task, the next best thing would be touchscreen terminals located at the lounge booths and in other areas where the spectators gather. It’s all about automation right? Why force the customers to high tail it up to a betting booth in between races when all transactions could be easily accomplished on an iPad-like touchscreen device in a self-service fashion?

Maybe the tracks don’t want to invest in this type of tech at their facilities right now, but I’m betting we’ll see it at some point in the future. Until then, I suppose we’ll continue to be forced into ambling up to the cashier’s booth to place our bets manually, per regular horse track etiquette.

How do you think new tech could improve the experience at the horse track?

Disclosure: This article was a sponsored, paid post.

2 Responses to “Could new tech improve the horse track experience?”

  1. on 08 Feb 2011 at 4:12 PM 1.Steven Kippel said …

    I’m betting there are laws that have to be dealt with. In the very least, the app would have to be connected to a specific WiFi network. Otherwise it’s interstate online gambling they’ll have to contend with.

  2. on 08 Feb 2011 at 7:32 PM 2.Wesley Novack said …

    @Steve I was thinking that too, but perhaps they could limit the app usage by proximity or by the GPS location reported by the phone.

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